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Missouri revenue department turns over tax refund information

Nicole Galloway takes the oath of office as Missouri auditor from Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Russell.
File photo | Tim Bommel | Missouri House Communications
State Auditor Nicole Galloway (center)

Updated 4:45 p.m. April 20 with Galloway news release — Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena to the Department of Revenue on Wednesday with the aim of forcing the agency to turn over information on how it manages income tax refunds.

Galloway requested the information six weeks ago for an ongoing audit and said she hadn’t received anything.

“The governor and his Department of Revenue are not being transparent with taxes,” Galloway said Wednesday. “If the new administration intends to operate behind a wall of secrecy, I will use the full authority of my office to ensure transparency and accountability.”

State law entails that income tax refunds must be paid out within 45 days of being filed or else the state must pay interest. Galloway said the department is willing to provide information for previous fiscal years but not for the current tax year.

But Gov. Eric Greitens told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday that Galloway's subpoena was little more than political theater, and that she'd received "over 170 pages of documents" that she'd asked for.

Galloway said in a news release that she had received those documents and is reviewing the information.

"After weeks of my staff requesting the information and after taking the unprecedented step of issuing a subpoena, my office has received the Department of Revenue's response. I am hopeful that in the future the issuance of a subpoena will not be necessary for my office to do its job protecting taxpayers," Galloway said.

She had given the agency until April 28th to provide the documents. Galloway said Wednesday that she would have sought an order of the court to allow the Cole County Circuit Court to compel them.

Galloway also said residents who believe they’ve had their money withheld beyond the 45-day limit should contact her office's whistleblower hotline.

Follow Krissy on Twitter: @krissyrlane