Friday, February 20, 2015

News from the MA Department Of Revenue

2014 Filing Season Update-  Learn about the important changes for the 2014 Tax Season. For example, the income tax rate was reduced from 5.25% to 5.20% for most taxable income effective January 1, 2014.  Something new this tax season in the health care area - taxpayers who don't meet the Massachusetts Minimum Creditable Coverage standards mandate may offset any penalty owed to Massachusetts by the amount of their Federal penalty. To learn about more changes and earn a CPE credit, visit the 2014 Filing Season Update online course.

Note: If requesting direct deposit for a tax refund, be sure to insert the bank routing number and the individual bank account number for the deposit - and double check the numbers for accuracy.  If recorded incorrectly, it may delay the refund and will result in a paper check.

Identity Quiz to Reach More Taxpayers-  With tax season now open, the new fraud protection filter that we told you about back in October will affect many more taxpayers.  If a taxpayer is notified by mail that their return was flagged for further review, they will be directed to take an online identity confirmation quiz that can be completed in two minutes.  Only the taxpayer should complete the quiz, it is fairly impossible for a practitioner to do that on behalf of the client.  The quiz is made up of a series of personal questions only the primary filer would know and once the quiz is successfully completed the refund will be issued. For more information visit the Identity Confirmation Quiz page.

Tax Refunds Receive Closer Scrutiny on News from Turbo Tax - As you probably heard, Intuit (Turbo Tax) held up the release of client returns to state revenue agencies on news that there may have been a breach at the company.  Intuit subsequently released many of the returns.  In an effort to be abundantly cautious, MA DOR stopped refunds for a short time to take a closer look at the returns.  Processing of returns requesting refunds has now been resumed with additional scrutiny.  Returns set aside for a closer look may result in a taxpayer receiving a notice asking for information to confirm their identity.

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