Bill targets error made in withdrawal of tax refunds

The state will not be able to withdraw tax refunds, as happened last week, if state Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, gets his way.

He and other senators proposed legislation in Senate Bill 35 that says if a state agency deposits money into a taxpayer's bank account, it cannot be withdrawn without the account holder's consent.

On Jan. 13, the state Department of Revenue released $12 million for state tax refunds to 30,000 Georgians, then issued a stop payment order three hours later after the discovery of a computer glitch that caused the state to overpay some refunds by a total of about $640,000. The rescinded deposits were still being withdrawn the next week without notifying people, leaving some Georgians overdrawn and facing bank fees.

Seabaugh said the error last week made the sponsors aware of a potential problem, and that part of the solution could be a good notification system before sweeping money out of an account.