Missouri taxpayers who have been impacted by a withholding issue may be getting some relief.
A Missouri House oversight committee heard testimony Wednesday in Jefferson City on legislation from State Rep. Dean Dohrman, R-La Monte, which would prevent penalties for delayed payments on outstanding income tax liabilities for the 2018 tax year.
We also learned during Wednesday’s hearing that Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) Director Joel Walters will be called to testify before the oversight committee for a fourth time, later this month.
Dohrman’s House bill 1094 has bipartisan support in the committee. Representative Dohrman testified before the House Special Committee on Government Oversight.
“I mean there comes a point we all have to just lay everything aside and govern,” Dohrman testifies. “And my goal is to help taxpayers as much as possible without impacting the fiscal year.”
If approved, Dohrman’s legislation would only apply to taxpayers who establish a payment plan with DOR.
DOR has created a dedicated phone line for taxpayers to call. That number is (573) 522-0967.
Director Walters testified in late February that more than 63,000 Missourians had already called that number.
“Our purpose here (in the Legislature) is not to penalize taxpayers for honest errors that came about because of the changes in the federal tax withholding this year,” Dohrman tells Missourinet.
House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, who pre-filed similar legislation in December, participated in Wednesday’s hearing and called on her House colleagues to approve Representative Dohrman’s bill.
Walters testified in late February that the average state refund was down about $78, while the average tax due is up about $65.
Meantime, the oversight committee chairman called for adding a refund provision to Dohrman’s proposal. Committee Chairman Robert Ross, R-Yukon, spoke to Representative Dohrman during Wednesday’s hearing.
“I think we ought to consider adding some sort of a refund provision to this bill to allow a taxpayer that has went ahead and paid that penalty to then be refunded that. Would you agree?” Ross asks Dohrman.
“Absolutely,” Dohrman replies.
Chairman Ross also announced at the start of Wednesday’s hearing that Director Walters will testify before the committee for the fourth time, after the legislative spring break.
A visibly frustrated Ross told Walters that a written response about the tax withholding issue that DOR provided is not what Ross requested. Ross wants to see a sampling of the DOR data of taxpayers who have seen the largest swing, under the withholding issue.
Walters testified briefly on Wednesday, saying that DOR has processed 1.4 million tax returns thus far in 2019.
The Department of Revenue has placed cards at all Missouri license offices and is mailing fliers to employers requesting that they post the information in employee break rooms.
During previous testimony, Walters has urged Missourians to check their state withholding information.
Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and State Rep. Dean Dohrman, R-La Monte, which was recorded on March 13, 2019 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City. Mr. Dohrman represents Johnson, Pettis and Saline counties in the Missouri House: