Louisiana taxpayers worried about a delay in their state tax refunds can now expect their refunds to arrive soon.

Byron Henderson of the Louisiana Department of Revenue says one reason state refunds are a bit late was the federal shut down, which delayed the IRS processing schedule.

"We follow the IRS on their schedule for when they actually begin processing returns," Henderson says, "and due to the federal government shutdown a few months back, the IRS decided that they were going to begin processing returns on Jan. 31. And so the (Louisiana) Department of Revenue decided to do the same thing."

Henderson says the department began processing on the last day of January, but another delay came from severe ice storms in January and early February.  Despite these delays, Henderson says they are putting out the state tax refunds about six days later than the original schedule.

The first batch of over 400,000 state tax refund checks are being sent out now.  Henderson says the quickest way to get your refund is to file electronically and select the direct deposit option. But if you prefer the filling out the printed form, Henderson says it takes longer to get your refund.

"When (people) file their returns electronically, they can expect a refund processing time of up to twenty-one days," Henderson says. "Now, if you file paper (returns), you can expect to wait 12 to 16 weeks."

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