It’s that time of the year — TAX SEASON
Christmas and New Year celebrations are done — it’s now that time of the year called TAX SEASON.
And to better accommodate tax payers in filing their simple tax returns for Tax Year 2013, the Treasury Department has set up two locations — one of which is a site inside the StarKist Samoa complex to help cannery employees.
Pursuant to local law, employers are required to have the W-2 Tax form released to employees on or before Jan. 31 of each year.
As in the past, the Treasury’s Tax Office staff will be on hand to prepare simple tax returns free of charge at the Atrium of the A.P. Lutali Executive Office Building.
Asked what type of preparations done by the Tax Office to prepare staff for the filing season and to help the community, Treasurer Dr. Falema’o ‘Phil’ M. Pili said, “we have changed the filing logistics to better accommodate our people. For StarKist employees, we will have our people situated at a designated location within StarKist facilities during the hours of 8a.m to 2:30 p.m.”
He said, “The rest of the community will be situated at the Atrium within EOB and the hours from 8a.m to 3p.m. We will have tables and staff to file their taxes.”
Treasury is expected to set up their tax filing operation inside StarKist once the company’s W-2 forms are released. In past years, the cannery usually released them in the third week of January and cannery workers would keep the Atrium area busy for Tax Office staff.
For the Executive Branch, the Fono and the Judicial branches — whose payrolls are prepared by the Treasury Department, Falema’o says he is looking at Jan. 30 to release the W-2 forms and 1099 tax forms.
According to the Treasurer, the semi autonomous entities of government such as ASPA, ASTCA, LBJ Medical Center, Shipyard Service and ASCC have their own payroll system and have their own timetable for releasing their W-2s.
For Tax Year 2013, there are no new federal credits to be claimed by local taxpayers.
Every year there is always concern by lawmakers and others in the community as to whether the government has sufficient funds in its coffer to fund tax refund checks; and residents are always wondering when refund checks will be issued and released.
Asked if ASG has sufficient funds to cover tax refunds, Falema’o replied, “yes” and when asked how frequent the Treasury plans to release tax refund checks, the Treasurer explained, “We will try to schedule it as often as we can to keep up with the influx of tax returns.”
He said, “If we can do it on a weekly basis, we will; otherwise we will gauge it according to the processing work load,” adding there will be one refund check to cover both local and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), which is funded by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
Asked for total refund checks issued last year for tax year 2012, the Treasurer said, the “final analysis... has all refunds combined local and ACTC totaled to approximately $10 million — $6 million and $4 million respectively.”
“To move things along, when a tax payer is ready to file — make sure when you come in that all your information is ready for the tax preparers,” Falema’o strongly recommends. “Remember that the tax returns being prepared by our staff are strictly simple tax returns with out any schedules (i.e. Schedule A, B, C or other schedules).”
And if a tax payer needs to itemize, for example, using Schedule A, the individual “will have to acquire assistance from a tax accountant to assist… in filing your tax return, in these instances, you will need to have an outside preparer work with you on tax return,” he said.