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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s tax collectors are doing a better job of cutting checks for people who are due refunds.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the state Revenue Department has sent refunds to 1.3 million taxpayers totaling $710 million. Agency spokeswoman Beth Stevenson says that’s up from 1.1 million refunds totaling $607 million at this time last year.

Gov. Bev Perdue last year ordered the department to turn around refunds for taxpayers within 45 days of getting a tax return.

The deadline for federal and state income taxes this year is April 17. For income tax returns that are filed on time, the state has a June deadline for delivering refunds. The state must pay interest on past-due refunds beginning June 1.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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