Many Maine Taxpayers May Need to File AMENDED 2017 Maine Income Tax Returns
May 2018- Generally, Maine income tax law has adopted the use of the most current United States Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), and noted any exceptions to the use of the Code in the Maine Revised Statutes. The recently proposed Maine Legislation, LD 1655 “An Act To Update References to the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986 Contained in the Maine Revised Statutes,” for Maine to conform to the Code through March 23, 2018 was not enacted. This means that Maine will continue to reference the version of the Code as amended through December 31, 2016. This also means that Maine has not adopted recent federal tax law changes that were made after December 31, 2016, including the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted December 22, 2017, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 enacted February 9, 2018, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 enacted March 23, 2018.
Although most of the federal changes apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, there are some changes that affect tax years beginning with tax year 2017. This will require many taxpayers who have already filed their 2017 Maine income tax returns to amend those returns.
Accordingly, Maine Revenue Services (“MRS”) expects to issue guidance within the next six weeks to inform taxpayers of the specific tax items and the procedures to be used to correctly file 2017 Maine income tax returns, amend 2017 Maine income tax returns already filed, and make changes to 2018 Maine estimated tax and withholding payments. MRS anticipates that taxpayers will be able to use their existing tax software to file any necessary amended Maine income tax returns.
Proposed Repeal and Replace, Rule 202. Maine Revenue Services (MRS) is proposing to repeal and replace Rule 202, “Tree Growth Tax Law Valuations – 2018”. The rule is being replaced to provide updated valuation rates for each forest type by region. These updated rates will be used to value forest land enrolled in the Tree Growth Tax Law program under 36 M.R.S. §§ 571 – 584-A.
Proposed Amendments, Rule 205. MRS is proposing to amend Rule 205, “Certification of Assessors” to clarify and streamline the procedures related to the previously expanded levels of assessor certification, to institute a formal procedure for revocation of certifications, and to make other, housekeeping, changes. Certification and the continuing education of property tax assessors in the State of Maine is the responsibility of the Bureau. This rule governs the nature and timing of the certification examinations as well as the enforcement of the continuing education requirements required under 36 M.R.S. § 311.
The proposed changes for Rules 202 and 205 can be found on the MRS website at www.maine.gov/revenue/rules/homepage.html. Comments on the proposed changes must be sent no later than April 20, 2018 to Justin Poirier, Property Tax Division, PO Box 9106, Augusta, Maine 04332-9106, or email Justin.L.Poirier@maine.gov.