Feb. 16, 2019

Tax season can be an unpleasant time of year, even during normal circumstances.

Mike Cierpiot

Tax codes and the required forms can be confusing and give any person anxiety. This confusion may be compounded by news about an issue with the state’s withholding tax tables. As you prepare to file your taxes, I think it is important to know what the issue is with our state’s withholding tax table.

Simply put, because of changes in the federal tax code and a longstanding error with the Missouri Department of Revenue’s tax withholding tables, some employers were under-withholding from their employees’ paycheck during the 2018 tax period. This error has since been corrected, but the federal changes mean withholding now works differently. What does this mean for the average Missouri taxpayer going forward?

Because these issues caused employers to withhold less than they should have from employees’ paychecks, there is a chance you will be impacted at filing time. For instance, if you typically receive a refund from the state, it may be smaller than it has been in previous years. If you typically have to pay in, it may mean you have to pay in more. Bottom line, it does not mean that you will be paying more taxes than you should have. At the end of the day, your tax bill will be the amount you were supposed to pay all along.

As you prepare to file your taxes, because of the changes at the federal level, I recommend reviewing your W-4s to make sure they are up to date for the future. If you have questions about your 2018 return or need additional assistance with your taxes, please call the Department of Revenue at (573) 522-0967. You can also sign up to receive automatic text and email alerts regarding the status of your state tax return at dor.mo.gov/returnstatus/.

Lastly, I would like to provide an update on Missouri’s efforts to comply with the federal REAL ID Act. This federal law is meant to strengthen standards for state-issued IDs following the Sept. 11 attacks. DOR expects to have REAL ID-compliant driver licenses available beginning March 25, 2019. While REAL IDs are important for air travel and entering federal facilities, there is no immediate need to seek a REAL ID and risk overwhelming DOR on March 25. Missouri has received an extension for REAL ID enforcement through Oct. 1, 2020, meaning current, non-complaint IDs will continue to be accepted until that time. With over a year before a REAL ID is required, there is plenty of time to get your compliant form of identification.

Please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about committees or sponsored legislation for the 2019 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot.