(Press Release) The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) officially launches the start of the individual income tax season and encourages you to electronically file your income tax return before the April 17 deadline to get your refund faster.
“The majority of taxpayers in our state e-file because they can get their refund directly deposited into their bank account," says Secretary Richard G. Chandler. "So many people do their business online today, and e-filing makes filing your tax return easier. The programs do the math for you based on the information you enter on each line."
Wisconsin is a national leader in e-filing. DOR expects about three million income tax returns this year and about 80% of those will be e-filed.
E-File for Free
DOR offers free e-filing for state tax returns from its secure, confidential website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Go to the DOR website and click on the WI-efile button to get started. Wisconsin e-file:
* Offers Wisconsin fill-in tax forms that do the math to help prevent errors,
* Is secure and confidential – your taxpayer information is protected,
* Sends a confirmation once a return is electronically submitted, and
* Allows you to link to e-filing options for your federal income taxes by clicking on “web-based filing.”
You can have your refund deposited directly into your bank account within days when you e-file. If you owe taxes, you can also use direct withdrawal. Simply e-file your taxes now and choose a date to pay your taxes on or before April 17, 2012.
What You Need to E-file
* Your federal income tax return
* All documents about income you received during the year, including W-2s and 1099s
* Legal names and social security numbers of everyone you’ll include on your return
* Charitable donations
* Property tax bill or rent certificate, if claiming homestead credit
* Bank account information for direct deposit or withdrawal
Below is additional information to help taxpayers throughout the filing season:
The deadline to file your 2011 tax return is April 17, 2012. The deadline is moved because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and the District of Columbia’s Emancipation Day falls on April 16. By law, the Washington DC holiday impacts the tax deadline just like a federal holiday.
Free Tax Assistance
* DOR has a variety of helpful videos on its website at revenue.wi.gov. We have both instructional and informational videos to help you with your tax filing questions.
* Call 211 to find a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site in your area. VITA/TCE sites help low-to-moderate income residents, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities prepare their tax returns for free.
The individuals who help prepare your tax return at the VITA site are trained volunteers. Taxpayers can get help with questions or e-filing their returns at more than 200 sites across the state found in community centers, libraries, churches, shopping malls and retirement homes. Most VITA sites will be open until the end of the tax season.
Please be sure to bring the documents below to the volunteer tax site:
* Photo IDs for you and your spouse
* Social security numbers for everyone you will include on your tax return
* All documents about the income you received during the year (Examples: wage statements, interest and dividend statements, retirement statements, social security statements, mortgage interest statement)
* Signed rent certificate or property tax bill if you will file for Homestead Credit
* Your bank account numbers to get refunds deposited into your account (example: bring a deposit slip)
* Any other tax documents (Examples: property tax receipts for any property taxes paid in 2010, tuition statement, closing agreement for home purchased in 2011)
IMPORTANT: Your spouse must come with you if you are married and filing jointly.
Tax Forms Online
E-filing is the easiest, most secure way to file your income tax return. If you choose to file on paper, all of the state 2011 income tax forms are available online at revenue.wi.gov: click on Forms on our homepage, or click on Individuals from our homepage. Paper forms are also available at most library branches and DOR offices.
Form 1099-G Available Online
You can access your Form 1099-G using DOR’s secure, confidential website application. Form 1099-G provides your annual state tax refund information from last year, which you need if you itemize deductions on your federal tax return. DOR is providing this information online to make it easier for you to look up information when you e-file your return.
Tax Law Changes in 2011
Below are some of the tax law changes that may impact your 2011 income tax return:
* Health Savings Accounts: A health savings account (HSA) is a special account owned by an individual and used to pay for medical expenses. Starting in 2011, Wisconsin follows the federal tax treatment of HSAs and you will be able to deduct contributions to your HSA account. If your employer contributed to your HSA, the amount contributed will not be considered income.
* Medical Care Insurance Deduction. You may deduct up to 100% of the amount you paid for medical care insurance if you had no employer in 2011. If your employer covered part of the cost in 2011, you may subtract 25% of the amount you paid for that insurance.
* Tuition: The amount you can claim for tuition and mandatory student fees for you, your spouse (if married and filing a joint return), and your dependent children has increased to $6,185.
* Child and Dependent Care Expenses: You can now subtract $750 for one child (or $1,500 for more than one child) for child care expenses.
* Relocation and Job Creation Incentives: If you are the sole proprietor of a business that relocated to Wisconsin or created full-time jobs in 2011, a subtraction for income is allowed.
* Deferral of Capital Gain: You may defer tax on long-term capital gains if the money is reinvested in certain Wisconsin businesses. For more information, see our fact sheet online.