Many Utahns will be paying more state income tax this year; many more will be paying less. For politicians, it's who is paying more and who is paying less that makes the difference.
State Tax Commission officials can't say for sure yet what the effect of the state tax changes will be on various taxpayer classes. But it's clear that the changes made last year are resulting in higher state taxes for more people than was originally expected."After April 15, when returns must be filed, then we can start sorting all this out," said Lee Shaw, commission spokesman.
Shaw does know how the tax filings are going. As of March 30, 215,000 returns had been filed, 14 percent more returns than at the same time last year. Refunds are running higher, an average of $265 per filing as opposed to $252 last year.
Commissioners knew the state overwithheld from taxpayers last year. To date, $16.76 million has been refunded to more than 63,000 taxpayers. Upwards of $20 million could have been overwithheld, Shaw estimates.
"It's taking about five weeks now to process the return and mail out the refund check," Shaw said. "But we expect that turnaround time to stretch to 90 days as April 15 approaches."