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Tax Office begins accepting tax returns from the public this week

ASG Treasurer Malemo L. Tausaga
Annual free filing assistance program starts Jan. 31

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The local tax filing season for 2022 will begin tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 24, which is when the American Samoa Tax Office (ASTO) will begin accepting and processing 2021 tax returns, according to ASG Treasurer, Malemo Tausaga in a statement yesterday morning.

“The necessary delay in this year’s filing season would allow ASTO to revise and update forms, system, and procedures put in place for a successful season,” Malemo said.

He also said that ASTO would be sending out Letter 6419 this week to taxpayers who received the two payments of the federally funded Advance Child Tax Credit in October and December of last year.

And the letters will be sent via the U.S. Post Office for those with mailing addresses and for taxpayers who have “general delivery” as their mailing address, can pick up the letter at the Treasury Disbursing Office at the A.P. Lutali Executive Office Building in Utulei.

“This is necessary for the validation of the Advance Child Tax Credit payments you received and to determine the amount of the credit you are eligible for,” Malemo explained in the statement.

For the ASTO “annual free filing assistance program”, it will begin Jan. 31 and this program is offered to taxpayers filing simple returns like Form 390EZ and Form 390 with the following limitations:

• Single & Married filing separately — $25,000;

• Married Filing Jointly, Head of Household & Qualifying Widower — $50,000;

Malemo made clear that ASTO “will NOT file any attached schedules or business returns.” And if the tax filer makes more than the above mentioned income amounts and are required to file schedules and business returns, Treasury “advises and encourages you to seek assistance with... local private tax preparers and professionals.”

He also said that the Tax office would accept “only” original documents like birth certificates and social security cards for the tax-filers and dependents. And a valid form of identification is needed.

To ensure the filing process goes smoothly, ASG Treasury recommends that tax fillers have all forms and documents in order before coming in to take advantage of the free tax filing services.

Malemo also issued a “friendly reminder” that “this program is free of charge and tips or gratuities are strictly prohibited.”

And the public is reminded that face-masks and social distance will be fully enforce when entering the Tax Office.