Tax refund checks set to be released every Friday of non-ASG pay week
It’s tax season and local residents, working for both the government and private sector, are looking forward to that extra boost of cash that comes once a year in the form of a refund check.
The good news is, the first batch of refund checks are set to be distributed next Friday. Afterwards, refund checks will be issued every other Friday, which is always the Friday of a non-government pay week.
The first few batches of refund checks will be for cannery workers and employees of the private sector, as they got their W-2 tax forms early and they were the first to file. Local law states that employers are required to release W-2 tax forms to employees on or before January 31. However, government employees didn’t get theirs until the first week of February, after a hiccup at the Treasury Dept. caused a delay in releasing W-2s.
In the meantime, Tax Office employees have been busy trying to accommodate local tax filers with filing simple tax returns free of charge. Two locations have been set up: one inside the StarKist Samoa compound to assist cannery employees, and the other in the atrium of the A.P. Lutali Executive Office Building in Utulei.
For Tax Year 2013, there are no new federal credits to be claimed by local taxpayers.
Those entitled to a refund will receive one check that covers both local tax and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), which is funded by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
In an initial interview with Samoa News, Falema’o said that for tax year 2012, the “final analysis... has all refunds combined - local and ACTC - totaling approximately $10 million — $6 million and $4 million respectively.”
The Treasury Dept. is offering free tax filing services to the public but those who need to itemize, (for example, using Schedule A), must seek assistance from a tax accountant.
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