Utah taxpayers will note several changes on the new income tax forms, including increases in the personal exemption and standard deduction. Taxpayers will also save some trips to the copy machine because Utah residents no longer need to attach a copy of their federal return to the state return. Utahns will also have the opportunity to make a voluntary contribution to a state fund to assist the homeless.
There are other changes taxpayers should be aware of on a state level. They are:- Personal exemption. Utah now allows 75 percent of the personal exemption allowed on the federal return. The personal exemption for Utah for 1988 is $1,462 (75 percent of $1,950). The personal exemption is computed in the tax tables and is not taken as a deduction on the Utah Utah short form.
- Standard deduction. Utah Now allows the federal standard deduction or itemized deduction as allowed on the federal return, including adjustments for taxpayers age 65 or over or blind.
- Deduction of federal income taxes. Utah now allows a deduction of one-third of federal income tax liability.
- Additional exemptions for ages 65 and over, and blind taxpayers. There is no special treatment on the state return for personal exemptions for taxpayers age 65 or over, or blind.
- New limitations have been established for the retirement income deduction. Taxpayers age 65 or over with qualifying retirement income are limited to a deduction of $6,000 each; taxpayers under age 65 with qualifying retirement income are limited to a deduction of $4,800 each. These amounts are subject to limitations of adjusted gross income.
- In addition the Utah State Tax commission no longer requires residents to attach a copy of the federal return to the state return TC-40 or TC-40s. Nonresidents and part-year residents filing form TC-40NR must still attach a complete copy of the federal return to the state return.
The State Tax Commission has the following reminders to Utah taxpayers:
1. File early. If you have a refund coming, the earlier you file the earlier you will receive your money. In 1988, the Tax Commission processed 600,000 individual income tax forms. Approximately one-half of these were filed the week of April 15.
2. Use the envelope and mailing label supplied with the tax form. The envelope is incoded to be scanned by machine and can also be opened and sorted mechanically. If you have a refund coming, mark the designated box on the face of the envelope.
These returns are processed first.
3. Remember to calculate the use tax due on the out-of-state purchases. If you purchased any taxable items or services on which sales tax was not collected, or was collected at a lower rate than the sales tax rate for your locality, you are liable for use tax on the purchase price. This includes catalog purchases from out-of-state vendors. Instructions on how to calculate the use tax due are found in the tax booklet.
4. Double check your return to avoid the most common errors: incorrect tax calculated from the tax rate schedules, incorrect itemized deductions transferred from the federal return, and math errors.
5. Remember to sign your return. If filing jointly, the spouse's signature is also required. The lack of required signatures will delay your refund.
The Tax Commission prints over one million tax booklets as well as long and short forms. Extra copies of the tax forms and booklets are available at post offices, libraries, and the Tax Commission offices in Salt lake City, Ogden and Provo.
State tax forms, as well as taxpayer information and assistance are available by calling the Tax Commission's toll-free number, 1-800-662-4335, or in Salt Lake County, 530-4848. This service is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.