Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Thursday, June 14, 2001

No need to list federal
tax refund on returns

Question: Are taxpayers going to be liable for tax rebates the Bush administration is giving to taxpayers?

Q: If we file joint returns, whose Social Security number will be used to determine when we receive the tax rebate checks from the Internal Revenue Service? If they use my husband's number, we won't receive a check until late August; if they use my number, we'll get it at the end of July.

Answer: Good news: The rebate does not have to be reported as income on your 2001 federal and state tax returns, according to IRS and state tax officials.

Many taxpayers -- about 409,000 in Hawaii -- will be receiving advance payments of what amounts to a federal income tax refund.

"Federal income tax refunds are not subject to Hawaii's income tax and therefore are not reported on Hawaii income tax returns," explained Roni Matsuda, supervising tax specialist with the state Department of Taxation's Technical Section.

Regarding the Social Security number: The number that will be used to determine when the check will be sent is the number of the first person listed on the tax return, said IRS spokeswoman Shawn George.

Meanwhile, George reminds taxpayers that if they have any problems or questions regarding federal or state income taxes, they can get one-on-one help at Tax Problem Solving Day this Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the IRS office, Prince Kuhio Federal Building, 300 Ala Moana.

You can make an appointment by calling 1-800-829-1040 for a federal tax problem or 587-1791 for a state tax problem, but no appointment is necessary, George said. However, be sure to bring any relevant documents.

Types of problems include missing refunds, lost payments, inability to pay and unfiled returns, George said.

Q: Ala Moana Center supposedly is a world-class mall, and with all the renovations supposedly completed, why can't they at least spend some money to designate parking by levels or whatever so you can readily identify where you are parked? They don't have aisle numbers or level numbers or anything, so it's very difficult to tell your friends where you are. Can't they use East, West, North, South or different colors to designate floors, or letters to designate parking areas?

A: "That's actually a top priority for us," said Dwight Yoshimura, Ala Moana Center's general manager. He noted the center has gone through a number of construction renovations, part of it to expand parking.

The mauka parking deck was just finished, and officials are trying to get a handle on the parking situation, Yoshimura said, noting there are old structures and new ones.

"We appreciate the customer's comments and are working very diligently to address that issue," as well as to facilitate a smoother flow, he said. "We appreciate (people's) patience."


To Don Hutchinson for finding and returning my mother's diamond bracelet that was steeped in sentimental value. Certainly, it renews our faith in humankind and the fact that there is kindness in everybody. -- Cheryl Souza

Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered.
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