Budget concerns limit services at state tax department

By RUSTY MARKS

The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Concerns over the state budget have prompted West Virginia Tax Commissioner Dale Steager to cut back public services offered to walk-in customers at state tax department locations.

Tax department employees will no longer be able to prepare state tax returns for walk-in customers under the restructuring, according to tax department spokeswoman Lalena Price.

Price said services for walk-in customers at regional tax department locations are now limited to accepting completed tax returns along with any payments due, preparing vouchers for taxpayers and accepting billing payments, resolving issues regarding letters received by taxpayers, providing Letters of Good Standing to taxpayers, providing both the state’s Personal Income Tax and Business Registration booklets in hard copy and issuing new and duplicate Business Registration Certificates.

Price said taxpayers needing help on their Personal Income Tax returns still have options for free tax preparation through a number of nonprofit organizations such as VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly). In West Virginia these IRS-sanctioned programs are provided through the West Virginia Alliance for Sustainable Families, United Way and AARP.

“Regardless of how we got here, we truly believe taxpayers will be better served by having one of these organizations prepare their returns,” Steager said.

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