April 19, 2014

Tax season gets underway

The state is gearing up for the start of another tax filing season. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue started accepting income tax return filings last week, even though many taxpayers are expected to wait until they can also file their federal returns at the end of the month.

State Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler says they are once again urging residents to use Wisconsin’s e-file system, an option he says simplifies the process of filing a return. “The forms do the math for you after you fill in the information. It’s secure, it’s confidential. After you file, you get a confirmation immediately that your return has been received, and if you’re getting a refund, you can have it deposited in your checking account in a matter of days.”

About 80 percent of those filing tax returns in Wisconsin last year used the state’s e-file option.

Taxpayers will likely notice a number of changes this year that could impact how much they owe to the state, or how big of a refund they will receive. One of the more noticeable changes will be a $650 million income tax cut adopted by the Legislature last year, which Chandler says will be felt across tax brackets, with the middle class seeing the greatest reduction. Taxpayers will also be able to deduct more for medical care, child and dependent care expenses, and tuition costs.

While the state is already accepting all returns, the federal government is not processing them until after the end of the month. However, the IRS has opened it’s Free File system already, which will give lower income taxpayers a chance to have their returns ready to go when the agency start’s processing them later this month. Free File is open to individuals and those filing jointly with an income below $58,000 a year. The IRS will begin processing returns on January 31.