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House, Senate Democrats Send a Letter to Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne Highlighting the Urgent Need for Conformity to Federal Tax Code

"The General Assembly has less than one week to act before Virginians will experience a delay in receiving their tax refunds. "

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From the Virginia House and Senate Democrats:

House, Senate Democrats Send a Letter to Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne Highlighting the Urgent Need for Conformity to Federal Tax Code

Richmond—This week, House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn and Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw sent a letter to Virginia Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne requesting an estimation from his office about when Virginians will be impacted by the disruption of the current non-conformity of the Virginia tax law to the federal tax code.

Excerpts from Filler-Corn and Saslaw letter read:

“As we move further into the 2019 legislative session, we and our colleagues in the House and Senate Democratic Caucuses are keenly aware of the General Assembly’s responsibility to consider the impacts of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act… As such, we would like to respectfully request from your office an estimation of when the Department of Taxation and Virginia taxpayers will first experience the disruption of the current non-conformity of the Virginia tax law to the federal tax code. It is the priority of General Assembly Democrats to remedy the question of conformity before the 2018 tax filings begin.”

Read the full letter here.

Excerpts from Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne’s response read:

“Virginia first conformed to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) in 1972. Given the long history of conformity, the Virginia Department of Taxation (Virginia Tax) prepared for the 2018 tax filing season based on typical approach and track record of conformity.”

“The Internal Revenue Service announced that taxpayers may begin filing tax returns effective January 28th. On this date, Virginia tax will receive electronically-filed state tax returns for tax year 2018. However, while they will accept returns, the agency will not be able to process returns or issue refunds. Past experience indicates that by February 6, Virginia Tax could receive about 650,000 returns.”

“Because returns will not be processed this year until the conformity issue is resolved, refunds will not be issued as promptly as taxpayers expect. In addition, the taxpayers source of refund information, “Where’s My Refund” website application, would not be able to provide information on the status of individual returns, unlike in prior years.”

“By March 1, Virginia Tax expects to have received 1.5 million returns.”

“Finally, deconformity may result in increased complexity and expense for many Virginia taxpayers.”

Read the full response here.

Delegate Filler-Corn and Senator Saslaw issued the following statement upon reading Secretary Layne’s response:

“According to Secretary Layne’s estimate, the General Assembly has less than one week to act before Virginians will experience a delay in receiving their tax refunds. Failure to act will create uncertainty and financial hardship for Virginia families, produce chaos in the tax-filing process, and impose additional costs on the Commonwealth.  We urge our Republican colleagues to join with us and do the right thing by passing conformity as soon as possible. Virginians are counting on us.”