Question: What the heck is going on with the tax department?
Answer: Hawaii Tax Online — where taxpayers are urged to file and pay Hawaii taxes — malfunctioned over the weekend, according to the state Department of Taxation.
“We are aware that payments made on HTO over this past weekend have not been posting to accounts. As a result, Hawaii Compliance Express (HCE) has been sending out tax non-compliance emails. We have identified the issue and the problem should be resolved overnight. If you have experienced any issues, please check your HTO account or HCE status again (Tuesday),” DOTAX said Monday on its website.
It did not specify what type of payments was affected.
Also Monday, Gov. David Ige extended the deadline from April 20 to July 20 for filing 2019 state individual and corporate income taxes. Last week the U.S. government extended the federal income tax filing deadline 90 days, from April 15 to July 15.
These extensions are automatic; there’s no need to file a special form.
Kokua Line heard from dozens of readers urging Hawaii’s government to follow the IRS and postpone the deadline, due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Federal and Hawaii tax offices are closed to walk-in visits. Help is listed as being available by phone or online, but readers said the phone lines are jammed, and, as mentioned, HTO malfunctioned.
Q: Regarding the city extending the expiring driver’s licenses, that’s good news, but did they loop in HPD?
A: Yes. Oahu motorists whose Hawaii driver’s licenses expire in March, April, May or June won’t be cited for driving with an expired license if they are pulled over by Honolulu police during the extension period, HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu confirmed.
The extension doesn’t protect the driver from being cited for other offenses.
Honolulu County has automatically extended by 90 days the expiration dates on valid driver’s licenses, learner’s permits and state identification cards that were issued on Oahu and expire during those four months. Such licenses are valid for driving during the extension period, and late fees on renewal won’t accrue during that period.
To answer other readers’ questions, no, the city will not send you a new license or state ID reflecting the extended expiration date. Anyone who needs evidence that Honolulu County authorized the extension, to prove their ID is valid for banking or some other purpose, can refer to the Department of Customer Services’ announcement, found at bit.ly/licext, said Sheri Kajiwara, the department’s director. “People may want to print that out … if they need proof for some other purpose. As far as driving is concerned, HPD is already aware,” she said.
Under Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s “stay at home, work from home” order, which lasts through April 30, people are likely to be driving less, as they should be out and about only for essential tasks.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration is easing up nation- wide on licenses that expired March 1 or later, according to an announcement at www.tsa.gov/coronavirus.
“If your driver’s license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you are unable to renew at your state driver’s license agency, you may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration or 60 days after the duration of the emergency, whichever is longer,” it said. The TSA staffs security checkpoints at U.S. airports, among other duties.
All these changes are due to the pandemic.
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