National Tax Freedom day arrives earlier than Wisconsin Tax Freedom day. We pay more taxes. See "Editorial" page for more info.
New for 2003
- All military and uniformed services retirement pay is exempt from Wisconsin income tax.
- Grandparents may subtract up to $3,000 for educational savings account.
- You may now designate $20 to the state election campaign fund.
What is the "School property tax/rent credit"?
The school property tax/rent credit will reduce your taxes owed (Wisconsin returns only) by up to $300 this year. The amount of the credit is determined by how much property taxes or rent you paid duing the year.
My only source of income is Social Security. Do I qualify for the Homestead credit ?
The Wisconsin Homestead Credit is determined by your household income (in this case Social Security) and how much in real estate taxes or rent you pay. If you are within the guidelines you will receive a credit.
What is the personal exemption credit?
The personal exemption credit is increase to $700 from $600 last year. If you are 65 or older the credit is increased to $950. The credit applies to your spouse, if married, and to dependents.
Are pensions taxable or tax-free in Wisconsin ?
Most pensions are taxable in Wisconsin. If your pension is related to being a police officer, teacher, or in the military, you might qualify as tax-exempt. You must check with the provider of your pension to see if you qualify as tax exempt.
May I calim Homestead if I live in a Dorm or a subsidized building ?
Generally you will not be able to claim any Homestead credit. What is factored in is your income, amount of rent paid, and amount of subsidized rent. The form for completing the calculation is on the back of the Wisconsin Homestead form.
How long do I have to file Homestead in Wisconsin?
Four years from filing due date.
Can I file Homestead if I moved to Wisconsin during 2002 from another state ?
No. You must reside in Wisconsin for the entire year to qualify for the Homestead credit.
My landlord completed my rent certificate incorrectly. Can I initial and make the changes ?
No. Any changes make to the rent certificate will make it void. To correct the rent certificate you must complete a new rent certificate.
I rented, however, my landlord will not furnish me with a Renter's Certificate. What can I do ?
You may still file Wisconsin Homestead. You must submit the renter's certificate with as much information as possible. To verify that you paid rent, you must furnish proof, ie. cancelled checks, money orders, or a receipt. Attach a note explaining that the landlord refused to sign.
Why do I receive a notice from Wisconsin stating the amount of refund that I received the previous year from Wisconsin ?
You probably itemized deductions on your Federal tax return. When you do this you deduct state taxes paid. When you receive a state refund you are therefore deduction more in state taxes than you paid. You must include the amount of your refund as income on your tax return for the year following the deduction. CAUTION: The state does not sent you a notice if you pay additional taxes. If you are in this situation, you may deduct the additional taxes paid when you itemize. Sure seems that if you owe taxes, Wisconsin will let you know, but if you are entitled to a credit resulting in less taxes, well, you are on your own.
What is the Armed Forces Member Credit?
The Armed Forces Member Credit is a credit of up to $200 if you were on active duty, received military pay from the federal government, and that the pay was for services performed while stationed outside of the United States.
What is the Recycling Surcharge?
The recycling surcharge applies only to business and farmers. There are income limits as to when the tax applies, and if applied is calculated at .002%.
Can I electronically file my Wisconsin tax return ?
Yes. New for 2003 (2002 tax year) is that you may now file your Wisconsin return after you have filed your Federal return. In the past, both returns had to be filed together.
Can I e-file with Wisconsin Form FC ?
Yes you may e-file Farmland Preservation Credit. Attachments need to be mailed as required.
How long should I keep my Wisconsin Income Tax Returns?
Generally the statue of limitations runs out 4 years from the due date of the return. We suggest keeping all returns filed. You might want to prove to the Grandchildren how poor you once were, or vica versa.
If I owe Wisconsin income taxes will I have to pay a penalty?
If you owe Wisconisn income taxes and file by April 15, you may be subject to paying interest on the amount owed. Usually if the amount owed is at least $200 and it is more than 10% of the tax shown on your return you will have to pay interest. Underpayment interest also applies if you did not pay enough estimated tax by any of the due dates, even if you are due a refund.
What are the penalties and interest for Wisconsin returns?
If you do not file an income tax return which you are required to file, or if you file an incorrect return due to neglegence or fraud, penalties and interest may be assessed against you. The interest rate on delinquent taxes is 18% per year. Civil penalties can be as much as 100% of the amount of tax not reported on the return. Criminal penalties for failing to file or filing a false return include a fine up to $10,000 and imprisonment.