Indiana BMV asks drivers to return excessive refunds issued for excise tax overpayments



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INDIANAPOLIS — The latest accounting error at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles left the agency asking some drivers Monday to return excessive refunds they've received after being overcharged on excise taxes when registering their vehicles.

The agency mistakenly overpaid a total of $60,000 to 254 drivers, WISH-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1y8ZOQo ). They were among the more than185,000 motorists who were owed refunds after being overcharged excise taxes when registering their vehicles going back to 2004.

This latest mistake was "caught immediately and addressed," BMV spokesman Josh Gillespie said.

"It was a human error," Gillespie said.

The agency has sent letters to the affected drivers asking them to return the excessive refund checks or, if they've already cashed them, to remit the portion that was overpaid. The letters carry the signature of BMV Chief Financial Officer Charles Day Jr.

The 254 overpayments occurred amid 146,299 refund claims processed so far by the BMV, Gillespie said. Those affected were "a statistically tiny percentage of the overall number," he said.

In September, the BMV acknowledged nearly $29 million in excise tax overcharges. Excise taxes are collected by the BMV and distributed to local units of government, including cities and counties. Indiana law specifies that drivers pay the tax based on the value of their vehicle, which includes an adjustment factor based on new automobile prices. In some cases, the BMV did not apply the adjustment factor, which caused some vehicles to be misclassified, the agency has said.

The BMV last year settled a class-action lawsuit that claimed the agency overcharged customers by $30 million. More than 4.5 million Indiana drivers were refunded $3.50 to $15 as part of the settlement.


Information from: WISH-TV, http://www.wishtv.com/

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