Maine Revenue Services (MRS) is now accepting paper or electronically filed 2016 Maine income tax returns. The deadline to submit 2016 Maine individual income tax returns is Tuesday, April 18. Maine income tax forms are available at www.maine.gov/revenue/forms

Tax filers should be aware of these changes, which were effective for the 2016 tax year:

• Military retirement plan benefits, including survivor benefits, are exempt from Maine income tax beginning on January 1, 2016.

• A refundable Sales Tax Fairness Credit is now available for Maine residents whose income does not exceed $28,500 for single filers, $38,250 for head of household filers, or $48,000 for married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er) filers.

• Maine’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is now refundable to Maine residents. Previously, the Maine EITC could only be used to reduce an income tax liability to zero.

• The Opportunity Maine Tax Credit, a credit for educational opportunity, has been expanded to extend the credit to certain graduates of non-Maine colleges and universities, 

to individuals obtaining a graduate degree from a Maine college or university after 2015, and to individuals serving on a vessel at sea. In addition, the credit is refundable for individuals earning an associate degree. For details, see the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit worksheet.

The refundable Property Tax Fairness Credit (PTFC) continues to be available for Maine residents who owned or rented their principal residence during the year, and whose income did not exceed $26,667 for married filing separately filers, $33,333 for single filers, or $53,333 for head of household, married filing jointly, or qualifying widow(er) filers. The amount of credit received by a homeowner is based on any property tax amount that is more than 6 percent of an individual or family’s total income. For renters, the PTFC assumes 15 percent of an individual’s rent constitutes property tax, and their rent must consume more than 40 percent of their total income.

Maine Revenue Services also warns taxpayers, as the new tax season begins, to be wary of scammers who may target taxpayers by e-mail, by phone and online. If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, or if you are an employer and you believe that a breach of personally identifiable information has occurred, contact Maine Revenue Service at 626-8475 or fraudalert.mrs@maine.gov