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Tax season is upon us! Here's what to know this year.

Close-up of the mailer
Office of the Attorney General of the State of Idaho
The mailer, with an official-looking eagle seal, is designed to trick recipients into thinking it is from the government

Last year, Idaho processed more than a million returns. As the population continues to grow, that number is expected to rise again this year by about 30,000.

Renee Eymann from the Idaho State Tax Commission urges everyone to file online to streamline the process.

“If you e-file, the refund will come within 7 to 8 weeks versus 10 to 11 weeks if you file by paper,” she said, adding that folks who file joint paper filings should make sure both spouses sign the return.

Qualifying folks who make $79,000 or less a year can file for free instead of using private tax preparation services.

“It's basically the same software anyone uses to file their taxes. It guides you through doing the return, does the math for you,” Eymann said. “It's just like any other tax software you would use.”

Also this year for the first time, every taxpayer in Idaho will be paying a flat income tax rate of 5.8%.

“People are used to having tax tables in the back of the book to see where that falls. But we don't have that anymore,” she said.

Another way to make the Tax Commission’s job easier is to pay online.

“You don't have to send us a check,” Eyman said. “You can always pay us electronically. And we have a free Quickpay service on our website that allows you to pay electronically through direct debit.

Eymann has one last tip for tax filers:

“Don't ignore our letters, please,” she said. “If you receive a letter from the Tax Commission, please take the requested action right away and then processing your refund will continue once you provide the information we need.”

Senior citizens and low to medium income taxpayers can also get assistance to file their taxes through volunteer sites, find out more here.

The deadline to file, as always, is April 15.

As the Canyon County reporter, I cover the Latina/o/x communities and agricultural hub of the Treasure Valley. I’m super invested in local journalism and social equity, and very grateful to be working in Idaho.

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