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Texas_Webmaster
(@Texas_Webmaster)
Advanced Member

I moved to St. Croix in 2008. I am trying to submit my tax return using TurboTax from the VI for the first time. When I get to the Federal Review part of it I get the following message:

"Your federal return is not eligible for electronic filing due to the following reason: Your state of residence is in the US Possession of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands"

The TurboTax support website states that electronic filing from the USVI is available. TurboTax phone support could not help me either stating that I should be able to do it.

So, the question for VI residents on the board, do any of you use TurboTax to electronically file your tax return? (For those that file a return 😉 )

When I setup my initial profile in TT it asks what state I live in. The options are the 50 states or "Foreign". So I have selected "Foreign". Not sure if this might be the issue or not.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Topic starter Posted : April 1, 2009 4:00 pm
Onika
(@Onika)
Trusted Member

I use Turbo Tax for preparation but thereafter print and file hard copies with IRB. I am not aware of anyone who has actually e-filed with IRB. That said, if you do print and file hard-copies, don't forget to take a second copy to have date-stamped!

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Posted : April 1, 2009 5:18 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Ahhh, I assume this is your first year here.

When you pay your taxes you make a copy, take both down to the virib and have them stamp it. Anytime you pay the govt money you want a copy of your check and a stamp/dated copy of what you turn into them. Never, never trust them to keep files. And if your copy's not stamped, they do not care about it.

The local govt constantly fish for money (more so with businesses) saying you didn't pay this, or this is short, etc... So you have to keep really good hard copy records here.

All federal money that is normally paid to the fed govt stays in the USVI, Except SS and Medicare.

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Posted : April 1, 2009 5:22 pm
sugarlander
(@sugarlander)
Advanced Member

Thanks for asking the questions Texas Webmaster. I moved from Texas last year too and am getting ready to do my taxes. So the answers are illuminating.

I went to Office Max yesterday looking for TurboTax and just saw the basic edition. I was wondering if that would do that job. Isn't there a "state" income tax in the VI? Some of the premium editions offer state income tax calculation. Any comments would be appreciated.

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Posted : April 1, 2009 6:09 pm
nforbes
(@nforbes)
Trusted Member

I had a co-worker who did this once and she got her rebate, except that she was also going to get one from the USVI and the US Gov't was going to request that money back so it was a HUGE ordeal. also, b/c this happened, she ended up getting audited. big mess. i use the online sites to DO the taxes, then take a few moments to head down to IRB in Sunny Isle and get it turned in (which i still have to do...oops!). I also tried last year to have my money direct deposited (as indicated on my tax return, complete with account and routing numbers...thank god no one stole my identity, lol), no such luck as the VI Gov't doesn't do that. Waiting for paper checks is all we got so far.

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Posted : April 1, 2009 6:11 pm
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

No state income tax. You pay the equivalent of Federal tax, using Federal forms, but you pay the VI.

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Posted : April 1, 2009 6:11 pm
nforbes
(@nforbes)
Trusted Member

We don't have State Income Tax and i just use the free e-file editions found online:
http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html?portlet=4

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Posted : April 1, 2009 6:12 pm
sugarlander
(@sugarlander)
Advanced Member

I've probably got state income tax confused with something else. An accountant does the payroll for a business that my wife and I own. In addition to FICA, Medicare, and Federal withholding there is some kind of VI tax. I'm also a wage earner for a company in the States but don't get this deduction. Hence my confusion about state income tax.

(thanks for the link nforbes)

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Posted : April 1, 2009 6:19 pm
nforbes
(@nforbes)
Trusted Member

I know the deducutions for my work paycheck are Federal, Social Security, and Medicare. Nothing specific to VI.

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Posted : April 1, 2009 7:55 pm
Onika
(@Onika)
Trusted Member

The deductions locally may be stated as Federal (and are indeed, based on the same rate) but the $$$ stays here and you file with the IRB, not the IRS.

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Posted : April 1, 2009 8:56 pm
Texas_Webmaster
(@Texas_Webmaster)
Advanced Member

Thanks everyone for the responses. I guess I am resigned to the fact that I will be printing out my returns and having my wife 😉 go down to Sunny Isle to get a copy stamped.

I am also guessing that the mentions of the IRB are actually the Bureau of Internal Revenue? Can anyone tell me exactly where in Sunny Isle this place is? Thanks in advance.

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Topic starter Posted : April 1, 2009 9:00 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Guys I pay this every two weeks, Medicare and SS go tot he feds. Withholding stays here and gets paid to the VIRIB. Most of ya'll don't worry about this as there are little bookkeepers like me who all this. It may or may not say things on your paycheck like VI withholding, but it stays here. I thought this was one we had to done to death like gross receipts tax.

Now with the stimulus package everyone's next paycheck should find their withholding cut in half, so there will be a little extra in the paycheck. Not much for a paycheck but it adds up over the year.

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Posted : April 1, 2009 9:19 pm
JE
 JE
(@je)
Advanced Member

My wife and I semi-retired and moved here in May of 2005. When I filed our income tax forms for that year I sent the forms to the states because we had no earned income after moving here and all of our tax money was withheld while still living in the states. The IRB would not have had any record of the taxes we had paid before moving here.

In 2006, we began working as self-employed individuals. Since then we have had to pay quarterly estimated income taxes to both the IRB here and the IRS in the states because the IRB is not involved with Medicare or Social Security. Therefore, we have to send the Social Security and Medicare portion of our estimated tax to the IRS and take the income tax portion to the IRB and get a stamped copy. At the end of the year we file the normal 1040 forms here with the IRB and Form 1040SS with the IRS.

If you are self employed, the IRB does not forward on whatever you owe for Medicare and Social Security to the IRS. If you send quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS but then only file here with the IRB, the IRS will assume that you never filed your income tax forms and will not know what to do with the money you sent them. The IRB does not interface well with the IRS. That is why self-employed individuals have to file a 1040SS also.

I talked to a lot of self-employed people when I was trying to figure this crap out and none of them knew anything about the 1040SS form. While I assume that this was because many of them had someone else do their taxes for them, apparently many just don't file it.

As far as Tax Cut or TurboTax, I use them (I order them from Walmart.com) for my taxes but they do not address this issue. You can get the 1040SS form off of the IRS website.

And, as a disclaimer, I am not an income tax expert!

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Posted : April 2, 2009 12:09 am
Yvonne
(@Yvonne)
Advanced Member

did you find out the location in Sunny Isle? I just called the main office 773-1040.... they said it is the building behind K-Mart with the red roof... and go upstairs... hopes this helps... I'm off to find it now...

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Posted : April 2, 2009 2:14 pm
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

Oops, I used TurboTax and printed out my info and mailed it to STT.

I put down my checking account info for direct deposit.....they don't do that huh? Also, I didn't get a time stamp. I'm supposed to get a good chunk of change back. Does it take forever like any other bureaucratic process?

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Posted : April 2, 2009 2:41 pm
Onika
(@Onika)
Trusted Member

chefnoah, chefnoah, chefnoah. ok, the deed is done, how to fix it...

I suggest calling IRB and asking if there is any harm to filing a duplicate on stx. Then I would take my hard-copies and get thee to IRB on STX and file again and have your copy date-stamped.

i don't know what the interaction is between STT and STX but I am imagining a horrible scenario where your return gets lost for years and you never get your $$$.

Honestly, I would probably proceed as though I had never mailed it or assume that it would not be processed.

I am sure others here will have suggestions...

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Posted : April 2, 2009 3:43 pm
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

Is it that bad? Isn't it the same IRB regardless of which island? I just mailed it to the address it told me.

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Posted : April 2, 2009 4:33 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

The 1st time I filed here I went to the IRB to drop it off.
This is how it went at the window.
me: Good Morning, here is my tax return.
IRB: Where is your extra copy?
m: on my desk in a file.
IRB I have to stamp the extra copy in case this one is lost.
me: I brought the return by hand , didn't mail it, so it wouldn't get lost, it is in your hand ,in the office.
IRB: IT COULD GET LOST !
I returned later that day and got the copy stamped and have each year since. Always get a copy stamped of any VI document.

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Posted : April 2, 2009 5:25 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Are you trying to April fool us Chef Noah? Cause this is much better then saying you're pregnant. Its bad. 🙂 Make copies again and go explain the situation to them and get your stamped copy.

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Posted : April 2, 2009 5:29 pm
GoodToGo
(@GoodToGo)
Trusted Member

CAVEAT: I'm not a tax accountant/attorney/etc.

If I recall correctly there is no state income tax in Texas right? If so you have no particular 'incentive' to file in the U.S. Virgin Islands unless you just want to help out the local government a bit (if you have a refund coming it will be much slower filing locally but if you owe then it's all a toss-up and I'd say pay locally to provide better local services.)

I moved here last year from a state without income tax as well. It's a bit tricky to understand but if you go read the i8898 form you will find there are a few 'tests' you have to apply to determine if you have the option of declaring yourself a bona fide USVI resident or not. In my case because of my close ties to my U.S. address (still have house, banking accounts, and for half the year my immediate family there) and the number of days I was in the U.S. (presence test) I was able to decide I wasn't a bona fide resident (read publication 570 also) so I filed my taxes electronically through TaxCut (as I've done for many many yeas) and got my rebate electronically deposited in about 10 days. Next year may be a different story (particularly if I end up selling our house in the U.S.) and I may have no option but to file with IRB.

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Posted : April 2, 2009 8:10 pm
newarrival
(@newarrival)
Advanced Member

Anybody have an accountant they could recommend? We have a lot of confusing issues - paycheck coming from the States, but residency here, and more!

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Posted : April 2, 2009 9:22 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

David Johnson (accountant) or Jim Sheets (CPA), both in the phone book and Yellow pages. It's hard though to get in to a good accountant this time of year on short notice. Book your appointments way in advance.

GoodToGo a accountant here will tell you that the incentive to pay here is to not get audited. You feel you pasted the test, but I would recommend that anyone who earns their pay here, pay here.

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Posted : April 2, 2009 10:03 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

Dealing with the BIR can be a pain...here's my tale:

Last year I had to file in the states because I did not pass the 183 days test that they implemented to be a bonefide VI resident. I filed an extension with the IRS. Because I split my time and earned money in the VI and the states I had to allocate money to the VI. This entailed getting money back from the federal government, and, upon receipt, paying some of it to the BIR. I worked with some folks at the BIR who told me that if I brought my federal check in uncashed to prove that I had no access to the funds while I awaited its return from the IRS when I cut the BIR the check for money owed the territory everything would be ok. I did exactly this and thought it was all settled until a few months later when I started getting notices saying I owed hundreds of dollars in penalties and interest for the time that the feds had my money and the locals didn't. This despite me proving I did not have access to the funds. Unfortunately, no extension was filed with the BIR, I didn't know at the time that I'd need to file with the BIR (hence the need for the extension so I could get my taxes straight). I ended up fighting with them for several months in person and on the phone with them claiming that since there was no extension they would not waive the interest and penalties. I have an accountant and he came up with some precedent showing that the BIR was incorrect in their penalties and interest calculation. We crafted a letter, sent it off to the BIR using confirmed delivery which was confirmed. The notices have stopped coming in and I think that the situation is resolved but they still have not contacted me or sent me a letter in response.

This is not the first time they have claimed I owed money that I paid, oftentimes taking the exact amount of my Gross Receipts payment and claiming I didn't pay it. How would they know what that exact amount was (they don't know my sales) if I hadn't told them with the amount on the check they cashed?

It is great that you can go down to the BIR and sort things out, but I learned that you cannot always trust what they say. They seem to not want to give you things in writing, they don't respond to letters, and seem to put the squeeze on you if they think they can. While the amount they say I owed was less than the cost of a tax attorney I would fight it if they come for it again because I want to be clear that I will not, on prinicipal, be bullied into paying money I don't legally owe.

The advice here is correct...be sure you get everything stamped in person at the office and whenever possible get things documented in writing. It is a shame that hard working people who are already giving away 30% or more of their labor to the government via taxes have to also be hassled with this sort of stuff.

Sean

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Posted : April 3, 2009 2:16 am
chefnoah
(@chefnoah)
Trusted Member

Well, I called the IRB. I told them I had mailed my return to St.Thomas and was wondering if there was any harm in filing again on STX.
I got transferred and the next lady told me that the IRB is one department between the islands. So, I asked her if things would get lost and she said "Not if the mailing address is correct!".

Let's see what happens

Thx for the advice

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Posted : April 3, 2009 1:21 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Okay I've got to say this or I'll pop. Noah go get it stamped. Never trust anything the govt "tells" you. You want everything in writing with them. If they do audit you they won't care what someone told you, you will be in the wrong. LOL...I've gotta stop reading this thread its giving me a heart attack that so many of you trust this govt.

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Posted : April 3, 2009 2:31 pm
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