A breach at the Internal Revenue Service caused extra scrutiny in Georgia and slowed refunds in February, said Gov. Nathan Deal.

BRADENTON, Fla. – Georgia saw state tax revenues jump a whopping 24.9% in February, results that state officials said were skewed in part by security breaches at the Internal Revenue Service.

Net tax collections for the month totaled $1.25 billion, for an increase of $234.5 million or 24.9% over February 2015, Gov. Nathan Deal said.

Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections have totaled $13.73 billion, for an increase of $1.32 billion or 10.7% over the prior year.

Because of last year's data security breach at the IRS, and another attempt last month that was thwarted, Deal said Georgia's Department of Revenue implemented a new fraud management system.

The increased scrutiny of state income tax returns delayed refunds, and inflated income tax revenue in February's revenue report, he said.

"It is anticipated that March refund releases will offset the revenue increase reflected in February," Deal said.

Individual income tax collections in February totaled $510.1 million, up from $295.7 million in 2015 for an increase of 72.5%, while refunds totaling $474.9 million for the month were down 23.5%.

Corporate income tax return payments were up $11.8 million or 198.2%, while corporate tax refunds were down by 34.4%.

The tax refund problem didn't account for the entire boost in revenues, state officials said.

Several tax reform measures and new tax legislation took effect July 1, generating transportation-related revenues of $67.4 million in February, a 32% increase over 2015.

Gross sales and use tax collections were the dim spot in the tally for February with revenues totaling $776.6 million, which was down 2% or $15.7 million compared to February 2015.

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