A Message From the Tax Commissioner

As you work to prepare your state and federal taxes, please be aware of a few changes that might help you along the way.

There might be refund delays due to anti-fraud measures. All West Virginia personal income tax returns will go through identity theft fraud detection, as well as accuracy checks before any refunds are issued. As part of our safeguard measures, some taxpayers may be asked to verify that they filed a return or to verify their identities before a refund is issued. We will require both valid driver’s licenses and email addresses for verification purposes.

There might be refund delays due to state withholding reporting requirements. For federal income tax purposes, employer withholding information must be filed with the IRS by January 31, 2017. However, under West Virginia law employers are not required to report withholding tax information until February 28, 2017. This delay in reporting to the state could create a slowdown in processing 2016 personal income tax returns.

E-file if you can. E-filing a return is the quickest way to submit your return and electing the direct deposit option is the fastest way to receive your refund.

There could be delays if you file a paper return. For those who file paper returns, you could experience delays up to 12 weeks from the date your return was received. If we have questions about your paper return, your refund cannot be released until all issues are resolved.

Easily track your refund online. You can check the status of your refund online at the Where's My Refund? web page. We advise you to track the status of your refund online instead of calling as the number of calls during filing season can be quite high and it is likely you will experience lengthy hold times.

We appreciate your patience. Due to recent budget reductions, the department is working with limited resources. Consequently, you may encounter longer than usual on-hold delays waiting for the next available Taxpayer Services representative. Of course, if your issue must be resolved by phone, we apologize in advance for any delays you may experience. We want to help you as soon as we can, and we will be working diligently to do so.

Know the deadline. Perhaps most importantly, don’t miss the deadline to file your state and federal returns. Your taxes, or an application for extension, can be filed through April 18, 2017.

Thank you for visiting Tax.WV.Gov and best wishes to you as you prepare your tax returns for 2016. Know that your tax dollars help fund critical state services upon which all West Virginians rely.

Dale W. Steager
State Tax Commissioner