BOISE, Idaho — The deadline to turn in your 2019 federal tax return may be July 15, but it's important to remember your 2019 Idaho income tax return is due June 15.
So far, the Idaho State Tax Commission expects around 75,000 returns in the next two weeks--a figure lower than they usually get, but Renee Eymann from the Tax Commission credits that to people filing little-by-little since the due date was extended.
If you're still waiting to file, there are some important tips you should know:
1. E-file your return
Filing your return electronically has many benefits, like:
- The software does the math for you.
- You get a confirmation email.
- Your electronic filing provider keeps a record of your tax return.
- You get a faster refund than if you file by paper. It generally takes about seven to eight weeks to receive a refund when you e-file versus 10 to 11 weeks for a paper return. Using direct deposit gets the refund to you even faster.
- It’s the easiest way to file while following social distancing.
2. See if you qualify to e-file your return for free
- The Tax Commission has worked with software providers and the IRS to offer free e-filing for many people with simple state and federal returns.
- If you have an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less, you probably qualify to e-file for free.
- To find the free e-filing offers, click here. Last year, nearly 500,000 Idaho taxpayers could have qualified to e-file for free.
3. Make sure your return is complete
- Double-check your figures to make sure you have no typos. Also, confirm your Social Security numbers (SSNs). Incorrect SSNs delay refunds.
- Make sure you list your current mailing address. Tax Commission officials need this if you’re getting a refund or to send you a letter asking for more information if necessary. Also let them know if you change addresses after you file.
- If you e-file, make sure you list the correct Employer Identification Number (EIN) and the employer’s state ID number when entering information from your W-2s. Incorrect numbers will delay a refund.
- If you file by paper:
- Include all your W-2s and a complete copy of your federal return.
- Both spouses must sign if you’re filing a joint return.
4. Remember to pay use tax
- Use your income tax return to pay use tax on those untaxed purchases you made last year. If you didn’t pay sales tax when you bought the products, you owe a 6% use tax if you’re storing or using the goods in Idaho.
- For example, you owe Idaho use tax when you buy products in a state that doesn’t have a sales tax — like Oregon or Montana — and then bring the goods into Idaho.
5. Pay electronically if you owe taxes
- Schedule electronic payments on dates you choose by using the free Quick Pay service or through e-file providers that offer a free direct debit option.
- Paying online is the easiest way to pay while following social distancing.
6. Respond to any Tax Commission letters asking for more information
- All income tax returns go through fraud detection reviews and accuracy checks before any refunds are issued.
- After you file your return, the Tax Commission may send you letters asking you to validate your identity or verify that you filed a tax return. The letters also may ask you to provide missing or extra information for your return.
- If you receive a letter, take the requested action right away. Processing of your refund will continue once you provide the needed information.
When it comes to getting your refund, remember all tax returns go through fraud detection reviews and accuracy checks before any refunds are issued. E-filers can expect a refund in seven to eight weeks from the date you receive a filing acknowledgment from the state. Paper filers can expect to wait 10 to 11 weeks, and first-time filers will need to add three weeks to those time frames so they can be added into the system.
If you received a Tax Commission letter asking for more information, your refund will be delayed until that information is received. It will take six more weeks on top of that to finish the process.
To track your refund, click here. The Idaho State Tax Commission's Boise office has relocated to 11321 W Chinden Boulevard. You can also reach them by phone at (208) 334-7660.