As Tax Season Ramps Up, Idaho Residents Should Prepare For Smaller Refunds

Jan 28, 2019

New tax laws and a divergence in state and federal policies means Idaho residents will see some significant changes when they file their returns this year.
Credit Canadian Pacific / Flickr

Following the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, federal workers are back on the job this Monday. Among the people reporting for work are IRS employees. With tax season here, and people preparing to file, they could be in store for some surprises this year.

Early birds rejoice, this is the first week state and federal employees are processing tax returns. The April 15 filing deadline is still several months off, but visions of refunds are already dancing in heads.

Those long-awaited refund checks might disappoint this year. New tax laws are on the books and withholding tables have been revised. The changes mean the possibility of smaller refunds.

Idaho and the feds now require different W-4 forms. That didn’t used to be the case. Employees who didn’t update their W-4 after the state and federal division may have been under-withholding part of their wages, meaning a big bite could be taken out of that refund check.

According to the Times News, word has been slow to spread about the change. The state’s general fund is down more than $100 million from where it was at this time last year. Experts believe it’s because of under-withholding.

As appointments with accountants and preparers start filling up, it’s worth remembering other tax policies have changed. A new child tax credit is on the books for Idaho residents to claim. The standard deduction has also been raised for single people, heads of households and married couples filing jointly.

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