Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm

PA Internet News Service

State Income Tax Refund Intercept Program Fulfills $5.4M In Restitution

Program pays off in first year and a half

September 17, 2018 - 2:44 pm
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By Jennifer Bloodworth for NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

YORK, Pa. (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Pennsylvania officials announced Monday a new program has paid over $5.4 million to crime victims in its first year and a half.

The state income tax refund intercept authorizes the state Department of Revenue to deduct court-ordered restitutions from the convicted individual's income tax refund.

“Often restitution is this promise that is made by the offender and the system that often goes unfulfilled for victims,” Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm said at a Monday press conference in York. “As a result of this bill, crime victims and survivors have been restored financially and that’s a promise fulfilled. It’s government that works.”

If someone owes restitution, court costs or fines, the Department of Revenue checks to see if they are due a personal income tax refund.

Once state tax liabilities are settled, the law requires the department direct all or part of the remaining refund to the Clerk of Courts in the county where the crime was committed. Those funds are then distributed to victims.  

Victims in Allegheny County have received over half a million dollars since the program's 2017 inception under the Crime Victims Act.

Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell estimates the program will generate another $9 million in the next year.

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