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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stephanie McFarland, APR
317.234.3793

State Says Electronic Filing Quickest Route to Tax Refund

(INDIANAPOLIS – April 3, 2009) – The Indiana Department of Revenue is encouraging all taxpayers anticipating a refund to file their state tax returns electronically this year. On average, state tax refunds are being issued within seven days for returns filed via the state’s I-File program, or the federal government’s e-File program.

“This year getting money back into taxpayers’ hands is more urgent than ever,” said Revenue Commissioner John Eckart. “When taxpayers electronically file, they help us with that effort.”

So far this year the Department of Revenue has processed more than 1.6 million tax returns. More than 86 percent of those returns were filed electronically. Taxpayers with direct deposit are seeing the fastest turn-around time on refunds.

“I knew I could expect the refund to be processed quicker if I filed electronically,” said Indianapolis resident Shannon Siegel. “But I had no idea it would be that fast.” Siegel and her husband received their state refund via direct deposit within just three days of filing their return electronically.

The Siegels used the state’s I-File program, which is a fast, friendly and free tool that allows taxpayers to file and pay their state taxes online. I-File has earned high marks from more than 5,000 taxpayers surveyed over the past three years, in which 95 percent report being satisfied or very satisfied with the tool, and more than 97 percent would recommend it to a friend or family member.

“I-File is also great for those last-minute filers,” said Eckart. “With I-File, taxpayers can file right up to 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on April 15. The program’s question-and-answer format makes it very easy to use, and most people complete their state tax returns within 30 minutes or less.”

Electronic filing saves hassle, taxpayer money
One of the biggest hold-ups for taxpayer refunds is an inaccurate tax return or filing the wrong form. “We tend to see errors in about 20 percent of paper returns,” said Eckart. “But more than 99 percent of electronic returns are accurate.”

Programs like I-File select the correct form for the taxpayer and do the calculations, avoiding the most common filing mistake – math errors.

Those errors also add to the overall cost of processing paper returns. Last year it cost the state more than $2.3 million operationally to process more than 1 million paper returns, whereas it cost the state only about $150,000 operationally to process more than 1.8 million electronic returns. “Breaking that down, it costs just pennies to process an electronic return, yet it costs from $1 to $3 to process a paper return,” said Eckart.

To view a video of the cost and resources needed to process paper tax returns in Indiana, please visit: www.in.gov/dor/4067.htm

Taxpayers may access I-File at http://www.ifile.in.gov/

 

Contact: Stephanie McFarland, APR 317.234.3793 - office