For the last several years, expiring Federal tax legislation has captured media headlines. What often goes unnoticed is the impact late legislation has on state tax reporting. When Congress passes legislation in December, most states have already finalized their forms and instructions and typically say, with exceptions, state law follows federal law as of a given date.
2014 Federal tax law changes were not approved by the Indiana General Assembly until May of 2015. This year, lawmakers acted early and just last week, Governor Pence signed House Enrolled Act 1290 bringing Indiana into conformity with the Internal Revenue Code in effect as of January 1, 2016.
Taxpayers with popular deductions such as IRA required minimum distributions made directly to qualified charities, tuition and fees deductions, and educator expenses will benefit from these deductions on their 2015 Form IT-40.
In other Indiana news, the General Assembly also passed legislation changing many aspects of personal property tax reporting. The assessment date for personal property tax has been moved up to January 1st. The old assessment date was March 1st. This should help businesses streamline the filing process since the assessment date now coincides with books and records used for other reporting by calendar year-end taxpayers.
Also beginning in 2016, small taxpayers (those with personal property in a county with acquisition cost of total business personal property of less than $20,000 as of the assessment date) are automatically exempt from filing. Existing personal property forms have been updated to allow a "check the box" declaration of exemption. In addition, the law has been revised and no longer requires the filing of a notarized certification of exemption.
The due date for personal property tax returns and exemptions is still May 15th.
Finally, the due date for Form 136 – Application for Property Tax Exemption is now April 1st instead of May 15th. Not-for-profits who have purchased real property since the last filing of Form 136 must file again.