By Stefanie Jackson
The Virginia Tax website, used by 4.2 million people last year to file their state income taxes, will not immediately begin processing the returns it receives this year.
“We’re committed to providing the information necessary to help everyone properly prepare and file this tax season,” Virginia Tax Commissioner Craig Burns said. “We also want to ensure that returns are processed accurately in as timely a manner as possible.”
No further action is required of any customer who used the Virginia Tax website to file a tax return electronically and received a message confirming the return was accepted. However, customers will not be able to use the Where’s My Refund app before processing of tax returns begins.
The tax season officially opened Monday, Jan. 28, and Virginia Tax is accepting returns filed from that date, but processing is delayed while state legislators decide how to proceed with the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
President Donald Trump signed the act into law in December 2017, doubling the standard deduction (the amount of income not taxed) on federal tax returns.
The standard deduction was $6,000 for a single person and $12,000 for a married couple, with both figures adjusted for inflation. The new standard deduction on federal income tax returns is $12,000 for a single person and $24,000 for a married couple.
The higher standard deduction means more people can save money on their federal tax bills without itemizing.
But Virginia legislators have not decided if they will increase the standard deduction on state income tax returns. They’re considering increasing the state’s standard deduction from $3,000 to $4,000 for a single person and from $6,000 to $8,000 for a married couple.
Virginia legislators also need to decide if they will change the law to allow people to use the standard deduction on their federal income tax returns but itemize deductions on their state income tax returns.
The deadline to file Virginia income tax returns is May 1.
For more information or tips to ensure returns are processed as quickly as possible, visit www.tax.virginia.gov