Missouri Department of Revenue Holds Millions in Cash Bonds
A state audit found the Missouri Department of Revenue is holding at least $20 million in cash bonds from closed businesses.
Missouri retail businesses can pay the Department of Revenue for a sales tax license through a cash bond. But Missouri law requires the department to return the bonds back to businesses following two years of tax compliance.
State auditor Nicole Galloway said the department will only return bonds when businesses request a refund.
“But they do not actively seek out these businesses that are in compliance to get their money back to them,” Galloway said. “And I find that I have an issue with that.”
She said some of the bonds date all the way back to 1980.
“The Department of Revenue has an obligation to actively seek out businesses to refund the money that they are owed,” Galloway said. “And every dollar the department does not refund back to business owners is dollars that can be reinvested back into the community or back into that business.”
Galloway also said $20 million is a low estimate because it only includes bonds held from closed businesses. She said the department has not provided estimates for the number of cash bonds held from open businesses.
The spokeswoman from the Department of Revenue was unavailable for an interview to comment.