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Idaho’s tax filing deadline, how to get your stimulus money and other tax questions

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IDAHO FALLS – Tax season is underway, and several changes are in effect due to COVID-19.

One of them is the filing deadline.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced in March that the federal filing deadline is pushed back three months to July 15. In Idaho, the Idaho Tax Commission announced the filing deadline is June 15.

And since you can’t file an Idaho return without a federal return, local tax professionals say the extra month doesn’t matter.

“You cannot file an Idaho return without your federal return being completed. It does no good to have two different deadlines. So basically, Idaho’s deadline is June 15,” Tereena Barnes, owner of Liberty Tax & Loan in Idaho Falls tells EastIdahoNews.com.

RELATED | US tax filing deadline moved to July 15, Mnuchin says

This year’s tax deadline may be confusing for some people. The reason the deadlines are different has to do with the timing of Idaho’s fiscal year-end, according to the Idaho State Tax Commission.

“Idaho’s Constitution requires a balanced budget. So, tax money must be in before the fiscal year-end (June 30) to keep this year balanced,” the tax commission says.

RELATED | Little orders this extension for filing Idaho income taxes in response to coronavirus

Liberty Tax has several thousand customers throughout eastern Idaho. Tereena’s son, Derek Barnes, an accountant with Liberty Tax, says many people have still have not filed. If you haven’t filed your taxes, he is reminding you to meet the deadline to avoid penalties and fees, or file an extension.

“They haven’t messed with the extension dates. The extensions are still going to be six months after the original due date. For your individual returns, that throws you into October, as it would any year,” Derek says.

Since the rollout of the $2.2 trillion stimulus deal in March, Tereena says the most commonly asked question from customers is how and when those funds will arrive.

For most people, in order to get your stimulus money, Tereena says you need to have filed your taxes in 2018 or 2019. You will receive it in the same way you receive your tax return. Those that didn’t file taxes those years are still eligible for stimulus funds. More information is available about that here.

Stimulus checks started going out last week and many people have already received those payments. If you still have not received your stimulus funds, it’s just a matter of time.

RELATED | IRS says stimulus payments will begin next week

If you filed online, Derek says there will be an update indicating whether or not the IRS has determined your eligibility for payment.

“If it says we cannot determine eligibility at this time, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done. You just have to keep checking (the website you used to file your taxes),” says Derek.

Filing taxes online has become an increasingly popular option over the years, but Tereena says it can still be advantageous to have a professional go over your taxes to check if you’ve missed something.

“We’re personable. We’re here to help you get the best outcome with the IRS you can get,” she says.

Getting help at Liberty Tax

Liberty Tax & Loan at 273 N. Woodruff in Idaho Falls. | Courtesy Tereena Barnes

Tereena and Derek operate two Liberty Tax locations in Idaho Falls. One is at 273 N. Woodruff near Winco. The other is at 1206 E. 17th Street. There is also one in Pocatello at 1023 Yellowstone Ave., Suite A.

The Woodruff location recently changed its name from Liberty Income Tax to Liberty Tax & Loan. It will now be open year-round and offer expanded services, including loans, bookkeeping, payroll and other business services.

The 17th Street location is closed during the pandemic, but once it reopens, Tereena says it will offer some expanded services as well.

“We’re locally-owned and we pride ourselves on helping our clients. Our goal is to help them not be scared of the IRS and help them get the full refund they’re entitled to and not pay too much in taxes,” she says.

Liberty Tax & Loan on Woodruff is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The Pocatello store is open varying hours during the week.

Visit the website for more information or call (208) 419-0732 to schedule an appointment.

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