Colorado tax collectors giveth, taketh away

Fran Coet
Posted 4/4/16

Residents may be surprised — pleasantly or otherwise — at some new items and requirements on the 2015 Colorado income tax returns. Specifically, Colorado taxpayers are likely to receive a relatively modest TABOR refund for the first time in 10 …

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Colorado tax collectors giveth, taketh away

Posted

Residents may be surprised — pleasantly or otherwise — at some new items and requirements on the 2015 Colorado income tax returns. Specifically, Colorado taxpayers are likely to receive a relatively modest TABOR refund for the first time in 10 years. That’s the good news, from an individual perspective. The bad news is, Colorado now requires residents to pay a retroactive tax on Internet purchases.

That’s right: The HD flat-screen TV that you bought through Amazon a year ago, the one that you thought was a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the one at the store, is suddenly the same price, and it’s time to make up the difference.

More on TABOR shortly but, first, let’s make sure you understand the details of this new Consumer Use Tax. It’s the same as the State sales tax rate, 2.9 percent, and Use Tax is also collected by some special districts. You can check your receipts (or other transaction details) to determine whether you paid taxes at the time of purchase. Some Internet companies collected the tax, some didn’t. It’s up to you to reconcile the difference by April 15. We recommend that you consult with a professional tax preparer but, if you have any doubts, you should definitely double-check the big-ticket items.

Unfortunately, the TABOR refund is unlikely to make up for the deficit of that HD, flat-screen TV. Most individual refunds will fall in the range of $13 to $41. This refund kicks in when the state collects taxes in excess of a complex formula that includes inflation and population growth.

The TABOR credit is available to full-year residents age 18 and older. Persons younger than 18 who are required to file a return are also entitled to the TABOR credit.

The TABOR credit is only available to full-time residents, and Colorado taxpayers will have to include their driver’s license information on the front of the Colorado return, inclusive of the state of issuance, the date issued and the number on the license.

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