PHOENIX — The head of the state House Ways and Means Committee is moving to ensure Arizonans can take advantage of the extra month the feds have given them to file their tax returns.
Rep. Shawnna Bolick, R-Phoenix, cited the decision earlier this week by the Internal Revenue Service to push back the normal April 15 deadline to May 17. Agency Commissioner Chris Rettig said he wants to "do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic.''
The move is not just out of a sense of charity. The agency is still dealing with a backlog of tax returns from last year.
But none of this helps Arizona taxpayers, as state law still puts the filing deadline at April 15.
The problem with all that, Rep. Bolick said, is Arizona is a "piggy back'' state.
That means computations for the state income tax form being with the federally adjusted gross income. And that, in turn, makes preparing a state tax return difficult, if not impossible, without first completing the federal form.
"Having the state deadline fall prior to the federal deadline doesn't make a whole lot of sense and wold only be cumbersome for state filers,'' Rep. Bolick said in a prepared statement. "Arizonans should not be rushed to file their state taxes while they still have time to file their federal taxes.''
Rep. Bolick said she intends to strip the new deadline of May 17 onto an unrelated bill during a meeting of her committee this coming Wednesday.
That may or may not be necessary.
A year ago, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order moving the deadline to July 15. That, too, followed an identical move by the IRS.
An aide to the governor said Thursday the question of a similar order this year is still being reviewed.
Gubernatorial action or not, Rep. Bolick said she hopes to address a related problem in the legislation.
Current law still sets April 15 as the day that individuals have to make donations to qualifying charities in order to get dollar-for-dollar credits on income taxes owed for 2020. Rep. Bolick said that needs to be changed by statute.