Skip to main content

An Official Vermont Government Website

Vermont State Logo

Filing Season Updates

The 2021 filing season opens on February 12, 2021, when the IRS and the Vermont Department of Taxes will begin accepting tax returns. The 2021 filing due date is April 15 for the Vermont personal income tax return, an extension to file the Vermont personal income tax return, as well as the Homestead Declaration, Property Tax Credit Claim, and Renter Rebate Claim.

2020 TAX FORMS WILL BE AVAILABLE FEBRUARY 2021. PLEASE DO NOT SUBSTITUTE TAX YEAR 2019 FORMS TO FILE FOR TAX YEAR 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check on the status of my refund?
What is the fastest way to get my refund?
What is the best way to file my tax returns and other documents?
Where can I go to file my taxes for free?
Are there important changes that I should keep in mind while doing my 2020 taxes?
What is the best way to make sure that I am withholding the right amount of taxes?
What is the Department doing to help prevent fraud?
What if I am asked to verify my identity or for more information?
Will my refund be issued by paper check or electronically?

 

How do I check on the status of my refund?

See Check Your Return or Refund Status


What is the fastest way to get my refund?

The Department continuously makes changes and improvements to our refund processing. Our goal each year is to improve turnaround times for e-filed returns. You may improve your refund turnaround time by e-filing after February 12 or in March, after you have received all W-2s and 1099s. Filing too early without the proper supporting documents may delay processing of the return.

Turnaround times may also be improved by choosing direct deposit for your refund to an existing bank account and by using a tax professional or tax preparation software to reduce the chance of errors. On average, taxpayers who e-file receive their refunds almost two weeks faster than paper filers.

The Department offers tips to help you get your tax refund in a timely manner:

  • Consider using a tax preparer, or paid or free tax preparation software to help you prepare your 2020 tax return.
  • Before you file, make sure you have all of your form(s) W-2 and any form(s) 1099, and include copies with your return if you paper file.
  • Use current forms for the tax year.
  • Provide your correct mailing address.
  • Provide correct banking information if you want direct deposit.
  • Double check your entries into forms and math calculations (e-filing minimizes math errors).
  • Be sure all filers sign the return.

Taxpayers should be aware that the Department's measures to combat personal income tax fraud during the 2021 tax filing season may cause delays in receiving their refunds.

The most efficient and secure way to file Vermont tax returns continues to be electronic filing, and direct deposit to an existing bank account is the fastest way to receive a refund. Return processing begins on February 12. Taxpayers who e-file generally receive their refunds more quickly than those who file paper returns. For e-filers, nearly ­­74% of refunds last year were issued within 30 days after the Department received the return. Because paper filings must be scanned, paper filers will generally not receive their refunds until at least 8-12 weeks after their returns are received by the Department.


What is the best way to file my tax returns and other documents?

More than 87% of all returns filed in Vermont are e-filed. Electronic filing through a commercial software vendor or your tax preparer is a secure way to file federal and Vermont returns. On average, e-filers get their refunds about two weeks faster than filers using paper forms because returns transmitted electronically get to the department more quickly, with fewer errors, and are more easily processed.

The Department continues to make improvements to make online filing easier for all taxpayers. You may use commercial tax software or a tax preparer to e-file Vermont personal income tax, but some filings may be made for free through myVTax as follows: 

  • Homestead Declaration
  • Property Tax Credit
  • Renter Rebate
  • Landlord Certificate
  • An extension to file personal income tax (NOTE: Extensions only extend the time to file the return, they do not extend the time to pay taxes. You must pay all taxes due by the April 15 due date to avoid late payment penalties and interest.)


Where can I go to file my taxes for free?

Last year, about 200,000 Vermont taxpayers qualified to file their federal and state income taxes through Free File, but only about 12,000, or six percent, of those eligible used this free online filing service. Taxpayers with low to moderate incomes and elderly taxpayers may also take advantage of free tax assistance though the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program, and the MyFreeTaxes Partnership. To find out more about these free programs and to see if you're eligible, see Free File and Free Tax Preparation Assistance.


Are there important changes that I should keep in mind while doing my 2020 taxes?

Personal Exemption

The Vermont personal exemption increases from $4,250 in tax year 2019 to $4,350 for tax year 2020.

Standard Deduction

The Vermont Standard Deductions increases an average of $160. For tax year 2020, it is $12,500 for Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er), $6,250 for Single or Married Filing Separately, $9,400 for Head of Household, and an additional 1,050 for individuals 65 and older and/or blind.

Economic Impact Payments (Federal stimulus checks/payments)

  • Economic Impact Payments sent to taxpayers by the federal government are not taxable.
  • Economic Impact Payments are not included as Household Income.

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment Benefits, Extended Benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Hazard Pay to Vermont’s frontline employees are all taxable income.

Remote Work

If you are a non-resident but you are temporarily living and working in Vermont, you have an obligation to pay Vermont income taxes on the income earned while you were living and performing work in Vermont, regardless of your employer’s location.

Household Income

Household Income includes all income, taxable and nontaxable, of everyone who resided with you at any time during the tax year, including family and non-related individuals. If an individual resided with you for fewer than 12 months, include that individual’s income only for the time they resided with you.

Household Income does not include Economic Stimulus Payments.
 

Social Security Benefits Exemption

Social Security benefits are exempt from income tax depending on your filing status and adjusted gross income. Use the Social Security Exemption Worksheet to determine if you qualify for a full or partial exemption.

To file, use Schedule IN-112, Vermont Tax Adjustments and Credits.


What is the best way to make sure that I am withholding the right amount of taxes?

The Department recommends reviewing federal and state Form W-4s at the beginning of the year or when your status changes (marriage, divorce, number of dependents, etc.). All Vermont employees should complete the W-4VT to make sure the right amount of Vermont tax is withheld from each paycheck. Completing only the federal Form W-4 may result in the wrong amount of Vermont tax being withheld.


What is the Department doing to help prevent fraud?

Because fraudsters work hard to devise new ways to steal identities and money, the Department continues to experience attempted tax refund fraud. The Vermont Department of Taxes works with the IRS, other state revenue departments, and companies and trade associations in the tax and financial services industries to develop and implement new procedures to help protect taxpayer money.

Submitting false W-2 information is a favorite tactic of fraudsters. Because of this, the Department continues efforts to validate wage withholding information with filings and payments by employers. The Department has emphasized the February 1 due date for employers to file W-2 information. Filing this information electronically with the Department by the due date prevents a frequent source of refund delay. Learn more about identity theft and fraud.


What if I am asked to verify my identity or for more information?

After you submit your return, you may receive a letter from the Department requesting additional identification. Please respond as soon as possible to avoid a delay of your refund. You may provide additional information, including requested documents, online through myVTax, select Respond to correspondence. If we ask you to verify that the return the Department has received is truly your return, you also may respond through myVTax select Return filing verification.

Image
myVTax screen shot


Will my refund be issued by paper check or electronically?

Previously, the Department might have issued you a paper check, even if you selected to receive your refund by direct deposit or prepaid debit card. This protection helped the Department avoid sending your money to an account or debit card that is controlled by a criminal.

While the Department honors taxpayer requests to issue a refund electronically, there may be situations in which we will determine it’s safer to issue a paper check. In some cases, we may send a letter requesting verification of taxpayer identity instead of automatically changing your request to a paper check. The letter instructs you to go to myVTax, select Return filing verification and enter the verification code included on the letter. This verifies your request and allow us to proceed with processing your refund.