Updates for Taxpayers

NEED TAX ASSISTANCE?

February 5, 2020

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a program under the IRS that offers free tax help to people who generally make $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers. If you qualify, IRS-certified VITA volunteers can you with free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing. Visit Tax Help Hawaii or Goodwill Industries Hawaii for a list of free tax sites and information on what to bring with you.

Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) is a program under the IRS that offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement related issues unique to seniors. The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program administers all TCE locations in Hawaii. Visit a Tax-Aide Oahu site or Tax-Aide Neighbor Island site for tax help.

Military members may contact their legal office for information on free tax assistance.

Free E-Filing is another simple and free method for filing returns for qualified taxpayers.

To file your Federal Individual Income return for free, you may qualify for various e-filing software options through the IRS’ Free File Program. If your 2019 Adjusted gross income was $69,000 or less, visit apps.irs.gov/app/freeFile/ for more information.

Additionally, all taxpayers filing Hawaii Individual Income returns can use Hawaii Tax Online to e-file for free.

2020 TAX UPDATES

Happy New Year! With the New Year, comes some updates and changes to help the Department of Taxation (DOTAX) better serve you.

We are open for business for the 2020 tax season! On January 2, 2020, all returns due in 2020 can be filed on HTO and all updated (Rev. 2019) paper forms will be posted on DOTAX’s website (tax.hawaii.gov/forms) and available at District Offices. [Please note: If you use third party software to submit your Hawaii income tax return, DOTAX will not receive your return until the IRS begins accepting returns on January 27, 2020.]

If you don’t already have an HTO account, we encourage you to sign up for one. HTO allows you to file returns, make payments, check account balances, manage DOTAX issued licenses/permits, and more. Transactions are fast, accurate, and secure.

Please read on for changes in effect this year.

FORM CHANGES

Some of our forms have changed for 2020 to implement new rates, laws and processes. These forms are identified with “Rev. 2019.” To avoid processing delays, use the most current version of the form for the appropriate filing period.

*Not all forms change every year. To ensure that you are using the appropriate form version for the period you are filing for, log onto HTO to file electronically or access the forms page on DOTAX’s website. Using the correct form Rev. ensures that the tax rates are correct and your return will not be unnecessarily delayed.

HAWAII COUNTY (ISLAND OF hAWAII) SURCHARGE INCREASE

Beginning January 1, 2020, the Hawaii County surcharge on the General Excise (GE) tax will increase from 0.25% to 0.50% and businesses may pass on the GE tax and county surcharge to customers at a maximum rate of 4.712%. Oahu, Kauai, and Maui do not have changes to the county surcharge for 2020.

New versions of the G-45/G-49 forms for periods beginning on or after January 1, 2020 will be available January 2, 2020.
 - For filing periods beginning prior to January 1, 2020 use the (Rev. 2018) form.
 - For filing periods beginning on or after January 1, 2020 use the (Rev. 2019) form.

For more information, see Tax Announcement No. 2019-04 or visit tax.hawaii.gov/geninfo/countysurcharge.

MANDATORY E-FILING

More tax types will be required to mandatory e-file for taxable periods beginning on or after January 1, 2020. Any person who is required to electronically file (e-file) a tax return and fails to do so shall be imposed a penalty of 2% of the amount of tax required to be shown on the return, in addition to any other applicable penalties and interest.

Mandatory E-Filing Tax Types Effective January 1, 2020
Tax Type Form
Corporate income N-30
Withholding for employers whose annual liability exceeds $40,000 HW-3, HW-14, HW-26
Franchise F-1
Public service company U-6
Estate and generation-skipping transfer M-6
For General Excise (G-45, G-49) and Transient Accommodations (TA-1, TA-2) tax returns for taxpayers who are required to file monthly returns (annual estimated tax liability greater than $4,000), mandatory e-filing will be effective as follows:
Annual returns For tax year beginning on or after January 1, 2020
Periodic returns For periods beginning on or after July 1, 2020

For more information, visit tax.hawaii.gov/geninfo/a2_b2_9tsm5/.

Page Last Updated: February 6, 2020