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Arizona legislator moves to postpone state income tax filing deadline
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Arizona legislator moves to postpone state income tax filing deadline

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PHOENIX — A key legislator is moving to ensure that Arizonans can take advantage of the extra month the feds have given them to file their tax returns this year.

Rep. Shawnna Bolick, a Phoenix Republican who heads the House Ways and Means Committee, cited the decision earlier this week by the Internal Revenue Service to push back the normal April 15 deadline to May 17 because of the pandemic.

In Arizona, state law still puts the filing deadline at April 15.

But Arizona is a “piggy back” state, Bolick noted. That means computations for the state income tax form begin with the taxpayer’s federally adjusted gross income.

Therefore, preparing a state tax return is 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 would only be cumbersome for state filers,” 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.”

Bolick said she intends to put the new deadline of May 17 onto an unrelated bill for approval during a meeting of her committee next Wednesday.

That may or may not be necessary.

A year ago, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order moving the deadline to July 15, following 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, Bolick said she hopes to address a related problem in the legislation.

Current law still sets April 15 as the deadline for individuals to make donations to qualifying charities in order to get dollar-for-dollar credits on income taxes owed for 2020. Bolick said that needs to be changed by statute.

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