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Tips to Ease Your Individual Tax Filing Process

March 16, 2022

Phoenix, AZ—The Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) offers common answers and assistance this tax season as filing taxes can be complex and may lead to questions and errors. ADOR encourages taxpayers to view the common answers during and after filing their tax return.

Finalizing Your Return

  • Order of filing. Complete your federal return before you start your Arizona return.
  • File early. This year’s deadline is April 18. Generally, about 30% of income tax returns are filed in April. Returns filed this close to the deadline increase the timeframe for refund delivery.
  • File electronically. When e-filing and using direct deposit, the taxpayer benefits with a secure, faster, and easier refund.
  • Accuracy checks. ADOR stops and reviews thousands of individual income tax returns each year to resolve errors or request missing information. Ensure all documents are included, double check the amounts, and verify the information before sending your return. Even better, e-file your return, which automatically calculates the fields and includes all the required documentation. 
  • Rounding matters. Round dollar amounts to the nearest whole dollar.
  • Contact information. Make sure you include your daytime telephone number in case the Department has questions.
  • Declare all income: Income from full-time, part-time, and temporary employment is subject to income tax. If you had multiple employers during the year, be sure to provide information for every W-2 you received. Failure to include all sources of income may result in substantial delays in processing your return.
  • Black ink on white paper. If filing a paper return, print the return using black ink on white paper.
  • File on time: To avoid penalties and interest on the amount you owe, file on time - even if you are not able to pay in full. The penalty for late filing is higher than late payment. If you can’t file on time, file Form 204 on or before April 18. An extension does not extend the time to pay your income tax.


Common Tax Form Answers

  • Even if you are not required to file, you must still file a return to receive a refund of any Arizona income tax withheld.
  • Be sure to use your federal adjusted gross income and not your federal taxable income.
  • If you are filing a joint return, enter your Social Security Number (SSN) in the same order every year.
  • If your 65th birthday was January 1, 2022 (born 1/1/1957), you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2021 for income tax purposes.
  • You cannot claim a dependent tax credit for someone whom you have claimed either as a qualifying parent/grandparent or as an “Other Exemption.”
  • The family income tax credit will only reduce your tax and cannot be refunded.
  • There are separate lists for Qualifying Charitable Organizations and Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations, and they are claimed on different forms.  A taxpayer can only claim a tax credit for donations made to qualifying charities. For donations made in 2021 - use the 2021 list. For donations made in 2022 - use the 2022 list.


Instructions before Mailing

  • If the U.S. Post Office postmarks your 2021 calendar year return by April 18, 2022, your return will not be late.
  • Do not staple any documents, schedules, or payments to your return.
  • Make sure you fill in all required boxes.
  • If you requested a filing extension, make sure that you check box 82F.
  • Sign your return and have your spouse sign if filing jointly.
  • Do not include correspondence with your return.
  • If you mail your return, ensure you send it to the correct address based on if you are making a payment or expecting a refund. Please check the form for mailing instructions.
  • If you pay someone else to prepare your return, that person must also include an identification number where requested. A paid preparer may use any of the following:
    • his or her Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN);
    • his or her Social Security Number; or
    • the Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the business.


Refund and Payment Tips

  • Enter the correct routing and account numbers, as you are responsible for this information. 
  • Check with your financial institution to get the correct routing and account numbers and to make sure direct deposit will be accepted. 
  • If the direct deposit is rejected, a check will be mailed instead.
  • Include your check or money order with your return.  Please do not send cash.
  • Write your SSN and tax year on the front of your check or money order. Include payment with your return.  If sending a paper payment separately, include your voucher. Without a return or voucher, the Department spends time researching and connecting the payment to an account thus delaying the return process.
  • If you change your address before you receive your refund, let the Department know. Complete Arizona Form 822, Change of Address.
  • If you receive a letter from ADOR asking for more information or to verify identity, the refund will be delayed until the requested information is received and reviewed by the Department. Reply as soon as possible so ADOR can process the return and refund/payment.


Explore more tax tips on the Individual Income Tax Filing Assistance page or subscribe to the latest news here.



Wednesday, March 16, 2022