February 28, 2018
In this issue:
Important Tax Season Announcements ImportantAnnouncements
Tuition and related expenses deduction has been extended for TY2017 
The federal budget bill passed into law on Feb. 9 extends the deduction for tuition and related expenses for tax year 2017. The Vermont Department of Taxes had issued an earlier statement saying the deduction had not been extended based on federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. If you are eligible for the deduction and it is not allowed by your software, please contact your vendor immediately to avoid filing errors.

Uncashed refund check? Here's what to do
Letters went out in February to taxpayers who have not cashed their refund checks from last year. For more information, read our fact sheet.

New refund fraud uses taxpayers' actual bank accounts
The IRS has reported on a new refund fraud affecting taxpayers, where a criminal uses the taxpayer's actual bank accounts for a fraudulent refund deposit. A person posing as a debt collection agency then contacts the taxpayer to say the refund was deposited in error, and asks the taxpayer to forward the money. People should be extremely wary of callers posing as debt collection personnel, especially if they know they don't owe back payments.

Do We Have Your Correct Address and Direct Deposit Information?Address
How to change mailing and banking information after a return has been submitted
If you move after a return has been filed, you should contact the Department as soon as possible to correct the address. If any correspondence from the Department is forwarded to your new address, be sure to correct your address before your forwarding directive expires. Please update your mailing addresses with us using our web form and send in a copy of a driver's license or photo ID.
If you change banks or close accounts after filing but before a refund has been issued, you should email the Department at tax.individualincome@vermont.gov to remove the direct deposit request. The Department cannot change banking information on the return. We will mail you a paper check instead to the address on the income tax return.  

Correct Reporting of Home Business UseHomestead
Claiming a percentage of home business use on your Homestead Declaration
Do you use more than 25% of your home for business use? If you are entering a percentage of home business use on Line A4, "Business Use of Dwelling," on Form HS-122, Homestead Declaration, be sure it matches the percentage of business use you are claiming on Line 7, "Business Percentage," on federal Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Your Home. These two forms should show the same percentage numbers, unless it is a bed and breakfast.  For more information visit our website.

Report Lottery IncomeLottery
If you win playing the lottery or gambling, you must report it
If you win when playing the lottery or gambling, you must report this as income on your federal income tax return. Any losses may be subtracted from winnings. However, you should keep good records of purchases of lottery tickets, winnings, and losses. There is no requirement to report lottery or gambling income on your Vermont income tax return. More information is available here.

New Military GuideMilitary
Are you serving in the military or national service?
Check our new Vermont Tax Guide for Military and National Services to see what taxes --- and exemptions --- apply to you.

When You Have a QuestionQuestions
Taxpayers with questions can reach the Department at 802-828-2865, or (toll-free in Vermont)
1-866-828-2865. The Individual Income Tax Section phone number is answered Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 7:45AM-4:30PM. In order to focus on processing, we do not take calls on Wednesdays.
Questions can be emailed to tax.IndividualIncome@vermont.gov.
Many answers can be found on our website. At the home page, simply enter your search word or phrase in the customized search window.
We are here to help.