Tax season is underway, filing deadline: April 17

Income tax season has begun and this year’s due date for state and federal income taxes is Tuesday, April 17.

Based on the volume of last year’s returns, the Vermont Department of Taxes expects to process about 385,000 personal income tax returns this year. The department provides detailed “2018 Filing Season Updates” on its website at tax.vermont.gov/individual/filing- season-update. Some updates so far:

• Vermont Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom is working with other states, legislative partners, and local accounting professionals to evaluate the impact of federal tax reform on Vermont taxpayers. On Jan. 2, the department sponsored a public panel discussion with members of those groups. A video of the discussion is online at tax.vermont.gov.

• Fraud is a real concern and the department will continue its vigilance to detect and stop identity theft and tax refund fraud. This may delay some refunds. If the department sends a taxpayer a letter requesting verification of a return or more information, including supporting documents, a prompt response will help avoid delay.

• Taxpayers who e-file generally receive refunds more quickly than those who file on paper. Last year, about 65 percent of Vermont taxpayers qualified to file their federal and state income taxes through Free File, but only about 2 percent of those eligible used this free online filing service.

• Taxpayers with low to moderate incomes may take advantage of free assistance though the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program, and the MyFreeTaxes Partnership. Find information on these free programs tax.vermont.gov.

• The department recommends that taxpayers visit myVTax.vermont.gov, a free service to file the Homestead Declaration, Property Tax Adjustment Claim, Renter Rebate Claim and Landlord Certificate; it’s also where taxpayers may check the status of their refund.

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