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6 tips for filing Idaho taxes

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Idaho State Tax Commission is offering some tips to make filing taxes easier as the June 15 state income tax deadline approaches.

1. E-file your return
Filing your return electronically has many benefits. They include:

  • 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, visit the Tax Commission’s website. Click on “Free income tax e-file--See if you qualify!” in the “Quick Picks” section. 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 at 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. Final Tip: 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.  

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