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Delaware Personal Income Tax season begins January 23

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Division of Revenue Director Patrick T. Carter has announced that Delaware tax season will begin Monday, January 23, 2017. Citizens are encouraged to file their 2016 State of Delaware Personal Income Taxes online at www.delaware.gov. This year’s filing deadline is Monday, May 1, 2017.

During the last filing season, the State dealt with a surge of fraudulently filed personal income tax returns, and stopped over $9 million in fraudulent refunds from being issued. In order to better identify fraudulent returns, the Delaware Division of Revenue has created new methods of detecting and preventing fraudulent refunds. However, as a result, the first refunds will not be issued until after February 15, 2017.

This year, Delaware is also urging taxpayers to electronically file their returns. Refunds from electronically filed returns are issued on average within 2 weeks, while refunds from paper-filed returns average over seven weeks. Last year, the average time to issue a refund for all tax filing methods combined was just over 20 days.

Delaware offers the following electronic filing options:

  1. Those who don’t need tax preparation software can file for free on the Delaware Division of Revenue website. This online system is extremely user-friendly and available 24/7. The system also allows taxpayers to file their returns and then schedule any payment due closer to the May 1st deadline. Taxpayers may pay their State of Delaware taxes on this system using a credit card or by debiting their bank account.
  2. Those who prefer tax-preparation software can electronically file their federal and state income tax returns for a fee, although these products also offer free-filing options for Delaware taxpayers who meet the following qualifications:
    • Adjusted gross income is less than the software’s established means criteria; or
    • Active-duty military with an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less (including Reservists and National Guard); or
    • Qualify for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

For paper-filed returns, the State uses a modernized processing system that identifies tax filings based on the return type. Any taxpayer who files a 2016 tax return using a previous-year return, or who modifies the paper return in some way, will experience significant delays. Paper tax returns will be available at local libraries or for download at www.revenue.delaware.gov.

Because Delaware does not maintain reciprocity agreements with other states, it is important for anyone who is not a Delaware resident – but who has worked in Delaware – to understand that they must file a Delaware tax return. Delaware Residents who work out-of-state are required to file returns with Delaware in addition to the state where they worked.

By law, Delaware employees should receive their W-2 employment forms by Jan. 31, 2017 for any job worked during the 2016 calendar year. Those who haven’t received a W-2 by January 31 should contact their employer.

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