With less than a month to go to file tax returns, Nebraskans with questions often go to experts with the state Department of Revenue (NDOR).
With a staff of 19, the taxpayer assistance team answers questions from people walking into their offices, calling in on the phone, or emailing.
The most popular way to get in touch with them is through the Taxpayer Assistance Hotline.
Fran Krejci is a revenue tax specialist who has done the job for nearly two-decades.
“You help people through the whole process from getting the forms to filing the return to correcting errors,” Krejci tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Questions vary, but she says around the beginning of March, there is a common one.
“Where is my refund?” Krejci says. “It does get more difficult as the (tax) season progresses.”
“Especially as you get closer to April 15th, questions become more difficult,” Revenue Senior Agent Kara Hadfield tells Nebraska Radio Network. “They want to know the more technical side of things with all the other adjustments that come along with the return, so they definitely turn harder as the season goes on.”
Last year, from January through April, the department answered more than 55,000 questions. That is nearly half of the 126,000 total inquiries made to the taxpayer assistance team in all of 2015.
Hadfield says they know most answers, but sometimes they are stumped – initially.
“Something that we don’t know, we definitely research it first,” Hadfield says. “Then, if we have to, we go to our department’s policy section that can help us further with researching it, so we can give the taxpayer an accurate answer.”
Many times, Krejci says she is just helping someone realize a mistake they made.
“They just enter it on the wrong line, what they’re trying to do,” she says. “Maybe they enter their refund as a penalty, and then they wonder where their refund is.”
While the taxpayer assistance hotline is busiest from January to April, it receives calls year-round, mostly from business owners.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:40]