HELENA – The Montana Department of Revenue is sharing some tips for taxpayers as they prepare for this year’s returns.
The state and federal income tax filing seasons will officially open on Monday. That is the first day the IRS and the state will officially process returns.
There will be some changes for taxpayers this year:
- The IRS has discontinued its 1040A and 1040EZ forms, which were used by people who did not claim additional deductions and credits or owe additional taxes. Instead, the agency redesigned its main 1040 form. Many people will be able to file only that form, but some credits and deductions will require an additional form, called a “schedule.” To match with that change, the Department of Revenue discontinued its state Form 2EZ. Department leaders say most people will be able to file just the first page of the redesigned Form 2.
- The state will no longer mail copies of the 1099-G form, which shows income tax refunds and other payments from the state for use in federal tax returns. Taxpayers can now get that information online, at Get1099.mt.gov.
- There will no longer be a separate paper form for the state Elderly Homeowner/Renter tax credit. It will now be included on Form 2. People who are not obligated to file can claim the credit using pages 1 and 9 of Form 2, or online at tap.dor.mt.gov.
The Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers to file their returns electronically. Nearly 90 percent of Montanans are already filing electronically. Leaders say it can help taxpayers receive their refunds more quickly and reduce the chances of mistakes.
“Even though a lot of people feel comfortable with paper, I think once they try some of the software that’s out there, it’s so easy to use and user-friendly that they’re not going to go back,” said Sanjay Talwani, public information officer for the Department of Revenue. “We really encourage it – it’s easier for you, easier for the department.”
Leaders also remind people filing their first tax return in Montana to make sure they have a current address on file with the Department of Revenue. First-time filers will receive their refunds by paper check, and the check could be returned if the address is not up-to-date.
If you have any questions about filing your state taxes, you can contact the Department of Revenue at (406) 444-6900, or go to their website, revenue.mt.gov.
Story by Jonathon Ambarian, MTN News