Claudette Watson-Anderson, CPA, director of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue, has issued the following tax tips for taxpayers.
1. File all tax returns by the due date. Filing a return by the due date will prevent imposition of the failure to file penalty. April 17 is the filing deadline for the 2011 individual income tax returns.
2. Include current mailing address. Include your mailing address, not your physical address, on the income tax return.
3. Make sure that social security numbers are provided for the taxpayer, spouse, and all dependents. An incorrect or missing social security number will delay the processing time of the refund and may increase the tax due or reduce the refund. If you have a change in your name due to marriage or divorce, please contact the Social Security Office to update your records.
4. Attach Copy B of Form W-2VI to the tax return. Also attach a copy of any Form 1099 that shows tax withheld.
5. Make sure all schedules and related forms are securely stapled to the return. Tax returns that do not have the appropriate forms attached delay the processing of the return. If applicable attach Schedule EITC (Earned Income Credit) and Schedule 2 or Form 2441 (Child and Dependent care expenses).
6. Taxpayers who were denied the Earned Income Credit must attach Form 8862 to the 2011 income tax return if applicable.
If you were previously audited and your Earned Income Tax Credit was denied or reduced, please review Form 8862 and attach it if you meet the requirements to be eligible for the EITC this year. Failure to file this return if required will result in the denial of the EITC.
7. Paid preparers must attach Form 8867 to all returns where the Earned Income Credit is allowed.
Form 8867 is the checklist that a paid preparer must complete for all taxpayers entitled to the EITC. Please attach that checklist form to the return when filing the tax return. If paid preparers have already filed returns without this form, please bring the completed forms to the Bureau’s offices before April 17, 2012 to avoid the imposition of penalties.
8. Sign all tax returns. A return that is not signed is not a valid return for tax purposes. All income tax, withholding, gross receipts and other tax returns must be signed by the taxpayer and spouse, if applicable, or an appropriate officer of the company.
9. All checks in payment of income or local taxes must be made payable to the Bureau of Internal Revenue. To ensure that the payment is properly posted, all payments should be accompanied by the proper tax return or a document describing the type of tax being paid, the period to which the payment relates and the taxpayer identification number.
Taxpayers with questions should call the Office of Chief Counsel at 714-9312 or 715-1040, ext. 2249 on St. Thomas.