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March 2, 2010
Yes, it's true. The state's most widely used form has seen an increase from 3 schedules to 7 this year. That means, depending on your filing situation, you may have to complete all the schedules. However, most people will complete only about 2 or 3 of them.
So why the difference this year? Why so many schedules? Well, there is a good reason for it.
Changes in federal tax law required changes in Indiana tax law this year, which led to more information on the state form. That meant we had to add seven new lines to the already crowded IT-40. Unfortunately, there was just no room on the existing form to do that, so we really had to come up with an alternative.
In short, last year provided a turning point for the Department to make a long-awaited change to an already overcrowded form -- a form shaped into its former design by legislative changes over the last 40-plus years.
You see, way back around the 1960s, Indiana had two exemptions, two add-backs, one deduction and three credits available. Wow! How things have changed since then!
Today’s list of add-backs, deductions and credits have exploded. Currently, there are five exemptions, 14 add-backs, 26 deductions and 34 credits available. That's a major increase from the 1960s list of tax items.
So, in redesigning the IT-40 form, we checked in with other states to see how they were coping with form overcrowding and imaging technology requirements. We also checked in with our federal brethren at the Internal Revenue Service. In our efforts, we learned that using schedule-driven forms is a common practice for managing form overcrowding.
Of course, taxpayers can avoid these new changes all together by using I-File, the state's fast, friendly and free online filing system. Returns filed with I-File are 99 percent accurate, and direct-deposited refunds from electronically filed returns are usually issued in 4 to 7 days.
Though we’ve tried to make the new schedule-driven IT-40 form as easy to complete as possible, I-File is another option to consider if the new paper form seems overwhelming. You can file using I-File at www.ifile.in.gov
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