Taxpayer Advocate Report

Jeff Dooley (Taxpayer Advocate, Department of Taxes) began his time with the House Ways & Means Committee on Wednesday with his “micro and macro level” roles on behalf of taxpayers and within the Tax Department. A statutory relief mechanism called “extraordinary relief” that can avail the Commissioner with requests for relief. These often deal with the property tax credit systems and affects lowest income persons.

He highlighted the recent “extended deadline” for Property Tax Credits for folks who have filed a homestead declaration but not the tax credit. Not everyone who is eligible takes advantage of these tax credits, so extended deadlines would potentially allow more people to submit. Dooley added that to make a real change, they should consider an overhaul they did with rental credits to make the filing much simpler and directed at getting all eligible folks in.

Representative Ode asked why these folks miss the mark and fail to finish Part B of the homestead declaration? Dooley blamed online tax filing systems that fail to prompt well for this filing. He sees 90% mistakenly conflate the Homestead Declaration and the Property Tax Credit and thus fail to move to complete that Part B (the credit). The noted they will continue to work with vendors to clarify this.

Chairwoman Kornheiser wondered about non-filer who may have so small incomes they simply don’t file so don’t know about the eligible options. Dooley agreed many simply don’t want to be reached and that makes it hard to reach them. Kornheiser was sympathetic that some simply want to avoid interacting with the government.

Read the taxpayer advocate report.

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