Tax Alert

 

Maine Electronic Filing Restrictions Relaxed

Individual Income Tax
Maine Revenue Services has removed several restrictions that in prior years barred the electronic filing of certain Maine tax returns, including returns with a Credit for Income Tax Paid to Other Jurisdictions, Forest Management Planning Credit, Maine Seed Capital Credit, Net Operating Loss addition or subtraction modifications on Maine Schedule 1, Subtraction of capital gain or ordinary income from the sale of multifamily affordable housing modification on Maine Schedule 1, returns with more than fifty W-2 and 1099 series forms in any combination, and returns with Form 2210 (Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals) .

E-FILE and I-FILE
Beginning with tax year 2007 returns, all Maine tax returns will be accepted through the E-File program except the following:

  • returns with a power of attorney currently in effect for the refund to be sent to a third party;
  • returns claiming any Maine Schedule A credits other than “Credit for the Elderly,” “Child & Dependent Care Credit,” “Earned Income Tax Credit,” “Forest Management Planning Credit,” “Maine Seed Capital Credit,” “Credit for Income Tax Paid to Other Jurisdictions” and “Maine Minimum Tax Credit;”
  • amended or corrected returns;
  • returns for tax years other than 2007;
  • filings that are duplicate to a paper filed return;
  • fiscal year returns.

The I-file program has the same restrictions as E-file except that we still cannot accept:

  • returns claiming Maine Schedule A “Credit for Income Tax Paid to Other Jurisdictions;”
  • innocent/injured spouse claims.

Sales/Use/Service Provider Tax
All sales/use tax returns for periods beginning after January 1, 1999 and service provider returns for periods beginning after July 1, 2005 may be filed using Maine I-File unless the return is:

an amended return; or,
a return when you have already filed a paper return.

E-File and I-File for Payroll Taxes
Original quarterly withholding or unemployment returns for the most recent calendar year or any of the most recent prior three quarters may be filed using Maine I-File. You may also file Form W-3ME returns using Maine I-File for the most recently completed calendar year.

Original quarterly withholding and unemployment insurance returns, and Form W-3ME may be filed electronically using the Maine Employers Electronic Tax Reporting System (MEETRS). Many payroll software packages now support Maine electronic filing of payroll returns. The following returns cannot be processed through MEETRS:

  • Nonwage withholding returns where Box B is checked because MRS has granted permission to exclude schedule 2.
  • Pass-through entity withholding returns.

In addition, ALL Maine amended payroll tax returns must be filed on paper.

Note that in addition to filing a Maine tax return, I-file may also be used to change your password; company name and address; owner name and address; contact name; phone number; and address; report ownership changes; and business closures; and change your ACH debit information.

Internet payment methods:

  1. ACH Debit method (Electronic Funds Transfer)
    To use the ACH Debit payment method, you authorize Maine Revenue Services to withdraw the amount due from a bank account you specify for deposit to a State of Maine bank account. Authorization for payment using the ACH Debit method will be made if you provide Maine Revenue Services with the routing and bank account numbers for a non-consumer bank account which contains sufficient funds to satisfy the tax liability.
  2. ACH Credit method (Electronic Funds Transfer)
    To use the ACH Credit payment method, you must have previously registered with Maine Revenue Services as a credit method payor.
  3. Check
    If you choose to pay by check, you must print a voucher from the payment screen and enclose it with your check.

MRS Rulemaking Activity

NOTICE: Public Hearing for New Rule 104 - Electronic Filing of Maine Tax Returns. MRS will hold a public hearing on new Rule 104 Electronic Filing of Maine Tax Returns on January 9, 2008 at 9 a.m. The hearing will take place in the Androscoggin/Aroostook/ Cumberland Room at the Augusta Civic Center. The purpose of the public hearing is to take comments from interested parties, which will be responded to after the close of the comment period. Participants are encouraged to provide copies of written testimony. Interested parties may also submit written comments. The deadline for written comments on Rule 104 has been extended to January 21, 2008. Written comments should be directed to Nanette Ardry, 24 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 or via e-mail to nanette.m.ardry@maine.gov.

Rule 104 mandates electronic filing of certain Maine tax returns if specified thresholds are exceeded. The proposed rule may be seen on the MRS web site at www.maine.gov/revenue (select Laws and Rules).

Repeal and replacement of Rule 202, " Tree Growth Tax Law Valuations - 2008 ." This rule, which was last amended for 2007, fulfills the requirement that each year the State Tax Assessor determine 100% valuations per acre for each forest type by economic region for parcels under the Tree Growth Tax Law.

Proposed Rule 202 can be found on the MRS web site at www.maine.gov/revenue (select Laws & Rules). Comments are due by January 31, 2008 and should be directed to John W. Sagaser, General Counsel, Maine Revenue Services, 24 State House Station, Augusta Maine 04333.

Amendments to Rule 901, "Maine Residents Property Tax Program." This rule, which has been in place since 1997 and was last amended in 2006, provides comprehensive definitions and explanations of statutory terms and procedures for claiming benefits under the Maine Residents Property Tax Program. The proposed amendments clarify the definition of “property taxes accrued” where a claimant owned and occupied two or more different homesteads during the relevant period.

Proposed amended Rule 901 can be found on the MRS web site at www.maine.gov/revenue (select Laws & Rules). Comments are due by January 21, 2008 and should be directed to Nanette Ardry, Staff Attorney, Maine Revenue Services, 24 State House Station, Augusta Maine 04333, nanette.m.ardry@maine.gov.

Maine.gov Offers Online Registration for Sales & Use, Withholding, and Service Provider Taxes

Maine Revenue Services is pleased to announce the availability of an online tax registration service for new businesses. Maine businesses may now register with the State of Maine for sales & use tax, income tax withholding, and service provider tax through the official state web site, www.Maine.gov.

This free online service is offered as an alternative to the paper form that businesses previously were required to complete in order to register for business taxes. Instead, the online service provides an easy to navigate form that can be completed any time that is convenient, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After submitting the required information, the business applicant will receive instant confirmation that Maine Revenue Services has received the tax application.

"We realize that starting a business is hard work. This online registration service makes one part of that start-up in Maine a lot easier,” said Jerome Gerard, Acting Executive Director of Maine Revenue Services. “We've heard from businesses that appreciate the time-savings and convenience of online registration. The nearly paperless process is also saving time and money at Maine Revenue Services.”

Maine Revenue Services receives more than 11,251 registrations per year for sales and use taxes, income tax withholding, and service provider tax combined. The online service provides a convenient option for time-crunched businesses. Applicants only need to view and complete those parts of the form that are required for the particular registrations being filed, in contrast to the paper form which is lengthy and includes information for all business tax registration types.

Additionally, the online form automatically checks applications for completeness and will notify the applicant of any missing information that is required. This speeds up the registration processing time.

The online registration service, created in partnership with InforME, the state's e-government portal provider, became available for sales, use, and withholding tax registration in March, 2007, and for service provider tax registration in August, 2007. More tax types will be made available for online registration over the next year. More than 2,700 businesses have already registered for taxes online using the new service.

About Maine.gov

Maine.gov (www.Maine.gov) is the official web portal of the State of Maine and a seven-time winner in the Center for Digital Government's Best of Web competition. Maine.gov is a service of the Information Resource of Maine (InforME), a collaborative effort between the State of Maine and Maine Information Network, LLC. Maine Information Network is the official eGovernment solutions partner for the State of Maine. The company builds and manages interactive government services on behalf of the state and is a wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC (NASDAQ: EGov).

Department
Telephone Numbers
FAX Numbers
E-mail Addresses
Taxpayer Service Center
(207) 626-8475
(207) 287-5855
Audit
(207) 822-0450
(207) 822-0453
Central Registration
(207) 621-5129
(207) 287-3733
division.uctax@maine.gov
Collections & Compliance
(207) 624-9595
(207) 287-6627
compliance.tax@maine.gov
Corporate Tax
(207) 624-9670
(207) 624-9694
corporate.tax@maine.gov
E-file Help Desk (1040 ONLY)
(207) 624-9730
(207) 287-6628
efile.helpdesk@maine.gov
Electronic Funds Transfer
(207) 624-5625
(207) 287-6975
efunds.transfer@maine.gov
Estate & Fiduciary Income Tax
(207) 626-8480
(207) 624-9694
estatetax@maine.gov
Fuel Tax
(207) 624-9609
(207) 287-6628
fuel.tax@maine.gov
Forms Request Line
(207) 624-7894
Individual Income Tax Assistance
(207) 626-8475
(207) 624-9694
income.tax@maine.gov
Insurance Premium Tax
(207) 624-9753
(207) 624-9694
Payment Plan/Income Tax
(207) 621-4300
(207) 621-4328
compliance.tax@maine.gov
Payment Plan/Other
(207) 624-9595
(207) 287-6627
compliance.tax@maine.gov
Practitioners’ Hotline
(207) 626-8458
(207) 624-9694
Property Tax
(207) 624-5600
(207) 287-6396
prop.tax@maine.gov
Public Communications
(207) 626-8478
(207) 624-9694
Sales Tax
(207) 624-9693
(207) 287-6628
sales.tax@maine.gov
Tax Clearance Letters
(207) 624-9628
(207) 287-6627
Office of Tax Policy
(207) 624-9789
(207) 287-3618
Taxpayer Advocate
(207) 624-9649
(207) 287-3618
taxpayer.advocate@maine.gov
NexTalk
1-888-577-6690
Withholding Tax
(207) 626-8475
(207) 624-9694
withholding.tax@maine.gov
Tax Violations Hot Line
(207) 624-9600

This publication is designed to keep taxpayers, tax practitioners and the general public informed of developments, problems, questions and matters of general interest concerning Maine tax law, policy and procedure. The articles in this newsletter are not designed to address complex issues in detail, and they are not a substitute for Maine tax laws and/or regulations

Suggestions for the Tax Alert?

Please contact: Public Communications (207) 626-8478
Maine Revenue Services
24 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0024