COVID-19: DFA Frequently Asked Questions
- Posted Date: 09/23/2020
- Office: All DFA
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
I have received a grant under the Arkansas Ready for Business Program administered by the Arkansas Department of Commerce. Will my receipt of an Arkansas Ready for Business grant affect my Arkansas state income taxes?
The Arkansas Ready for Business Grant Program provides direct grants to businesses for expenses associated with ensuring the health and safety of employees and patrons. Grant recipients may use grant funds for eligible expenditures including:
• Personal protective equipment (PPE) and no-contact thermometers for employees and customers
• No-contact point of sale (POS) payment equipment
• Supplies and disinfectants to initially deep clean premises and for use on an ongoing basis
• Expenses associated with hiring a third party to perform periodic deep cleaning services
• Hand sanitizer stations
• Restocking of necessary supplies/raw materials
• Expenses associated with reconfiguring business to meet recommended health and safety guidelines
• Marketing, and
• Other one-time expenses associated with reopening or resuming normal operations.
Receipt of a grant under the Arkansas Ready for Business program is subject to Arkansas individual or corporate income tax because the grant constitutes net income of the individual or business. However, a taxpayer may deduct the cost of an eligible expenditure under the grant program if the expenditure otherwise qualifies as an ordinary and necessary business expense under Arkansas state income tax law. See Ark. Code Ann. § 26-51-423(a)(1).
For further information regarding the Arkansas Ready for Business Grant Program requirements, please visit https://www.arkansasedc.com/covid19.
I am receiving a stimulus rebate check from the United States Treasury. Will my stimulus rebate check be subject to Arkansas Individual Income Tax?
No. The COVID-19 novel coronavirus recovery rebate check is not subject to Arkansas Individual Income Tax. Under Section 2201 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the United States Congress has authorized 2020 Recovery Rebates for Individuals. These payments, in the maximum amount of $1,200 per qualifying adult ($2,400 for joint filers) and $500 per qualifying child, are not considered taxable income for the purposes of Arkansas Individual Income Tax. The Internal Revenue Service has provided further information regarding the payment of the 2020 Recovery Rebates at the following website: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know.
Are Revenue Offices open for business?
Yes, Revenue Offices remain open for business across the state to serve you with the exception of two locations: Southwest Little Rock and Fayetteville (offices temporarily closed, opening dates will be announced here). DFA is continuing to receive instruction and guidance from the Governor’s Office, the Arkansas Department of Health, as well as the federal government for purposes of maintaining appropriate safeguards for citizens and employees while continuing to provide service to citizens. The majority of Revenue Office-related services are offered online at https://mydmv.arkansas.gov/. Available online services include registering a vehicle, ordering a replacement driver’s license, and ordering a personalized license plate along with many additional services.
Will DFA extend the April 15 filing deadline or extend the time period in which taxes are paid?
Yes. Governor Hutchinson announced the extension, via executive order, of the 2019 individual income tax filing date and individual income tax payment date from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. This extension includes 2019 returns of Subchapter S Corporations, fiduciaries and estates, partnerships and composite returns. Arkansas did not extend the 2020 estimated tax payments. The Internal Revenue Service has released guidance athttps://www.irs.gov/coronavirus. Governor Hutchinson’s order may be found at https://governor.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/executiveOrders/200325_EO_20-09.pdf
Will DFA extend filing or payment deadlines for other types of taxes?
All taxes must still be reported and paid according to the existing Arkansas law. DFA’s regular business operations also include the ability for individuals and businesses to file and pay their taxes including sales and use, special excise, and more through the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point (ATAP) at https://atap.arkansas.gov.
Is my state tax refund still being processed?
DFA continues to process refunds. No delays are anticipated. You can check the status of your refund at https://atap.arkansas.gov.
I plan on filing my 2019 Arkansas Individual Income Tax return on July 15, but I am unsure how to calculate and submit my quarterly estimated tax payment that is due on April 15th. What guidance can DFA provide?
Below are alternatives for determining estimated tax payments that do not rely on first calculating 2019 taxes. Please note that a taxpayer can also choose to calculate 2019 taxes without filing his or her return until the July 15, 2020 deadline. The two alternatives are below:
- Elect to make one’s first 2020 quarterly estimate (due on April 15) to be the same amount as the 2019 estimate, then adjust the last three quarterly estimates based on income changes. If the taxpayer’s January-March 2020 income is up or down substantially compared with 2019, then adjust the first estimated payment accordingly.
- For taxpayers that also have W-2 income, the taxpayer can adjust his or her withholding amounts during the year as another tool to pay their taxes.
Also, DFA’s Form AR1000ES - Estimated Tax Declaration Vouchers and Instructions for Tax Year 2020 - is available at the following link:
If you are subject to a penalty for underpayment of estimated tax when your 2020 Arkansas Individual Income Tax Return is filed in 2021, you can submit a request for a waiver of the penalty to DFA using the form available at the following link:
Are DFA’s meetings and public hearings still taking place?
Please check the status with the specific DFA Division hosting the meeting.
Are Child Support Offices open for business?
The Office of Child Support Enforcement lobbies are temporarily closed to the public. Staff will continue to be available during regular business hours by phone and by email. For local office contact information go to www.childsupport.arkansas.gov and click on Contact Child Support. During this time, child support payments received will be processed as quickly as possible and sent to the recipient. .
Before I make the trip to DFA or a Revenue Office, I’d like to see a full list of services offered online.
Excise Tax Administration
• File any state tax return
• Business tax registration for all tax types
• Look-up tools for local tax rates
• All statistical information is available
• List of all Tax rules is available
• Legal opinions available
• Administrative hearing decisions are available
• Make online payments using ATAP
Motor Vehicle and Driver Services Administration
• Pre-register a new vehicle
• Renew a vehicle registration
• Transfer vehicle ownership
• Order a personalized license plate
• Estimate sales tax due
• Register and pay sales tax
• Pay outstanding balances
• Duplicate vehicle registration
• Check title status
• International Registration Plan (IRP) – Online Registration
• CDL – Medical Certification
• Change address notification
• Request Driving Record
• Order a duplicate Driver’s License
• Update Renewal Notice Preference – Email or Text
• Request Driver’s License Clearance Letter
• Pay Reinstatement Fees
Income Tax Administration
• File any state tax return
• Make Online payments using ATAP
• Look up and print 1099-G’s
• Look up Income Tax return and refund status
• All tax return forms are available
• Free E-file of your individual income tax is available
Child Support Enforcement
• Check the status of your child support case
• Make child support payments
• Communicate with OCSE Staff
• 67% of payments are received and disbursed electronically and can be managed remotely
I have an administrative hearing before DFA, but I am avoiding in-person contact – What do I do?
DFA has a commitment to flexible services. If you have a scheduled tax protest hearing in DFA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, you may request that the Hearing Officer conduct the protest by telephone, on written documents, or delay the hearing until a later date by contacting the Office of Hearings and Appeals at (501) 682-7003. Please note that a business closure hearing cannot be delayed until a later date, but instead can be conducted by telephone.
If you have a scheduled Driver Control hearing, you may request that the Hearing Officer conduct the hearing by telephone or delay the hearing until a later date by contacting the Little Rock Office of Driver Control at (501) 682-1631. A listing of local Driver Control Offices is available at https://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/office-locations/driver-control-offices. Please note that if you request a delay in your hearing, the suspension of your driving privileges will not be delayed.
You may also reach the Department by phone or email with additional questions. The DFA website at https://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/ will allow you to identify the Office or Division and their direct contact information.