Daily Tax Report: State

Trump Tax Cuts Leave Tax Day Questions in Arizona

April 15, 2019, 8:46 AM

Tax Day is here, but Arizona has yet to decide how it will respond to the 2017 federal tax code overhaul.

That means time’s up for state filers waiting for a compromise between the Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on whether the state will conform to the 2017 federal tax law and what it will do with the extra revenue. Arizona residents must file their state returns amid those questions.

Republican lawmakers, who control the Legislature, say the state should offset any additional revenue from conformity—estimated to potentially reach about $200 million—to avoid a tax increase on residents. Ducey already vetoed a bill to do so and wants any windfall to go into the state’s rainy day fund.

Representatives from the state Department of Revenue are telling filers to proceed using forms that assume Arizona conforms to the federal code, as it usually does. It’s unclear what will happen if the Legislature and governor make changes down the road, though state law offers time and penalty protections for people who need to file amended returns.

“We’re not in a position to speculate,” DOR spokesman Ed Greenberg said.

Filings Ahead of Last Year

The Legislature failed to pass a bill that would have extended the tax deadline during the debate. But the uncertainty doesn’t appear to have impacted the number of taxpayers who filed before April 15.

Individual income tax return filings by April 12 were ahead of 2018 filings over the same time period, Greenberg said. Numbers from that afternoon showed 2.4 million returns were filed compared to 2.2 million the previous year.

The department will implement modifications and issue updated guidance if state leaders make changes before the legislative session ends this spring, Greenberg said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brenna Goth in Phoenix at bgoth@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeff Harrington at jharrington@bloombergtax.com; Megan Pannone at mpannone@bloombergtax.com

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