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600 E. Boulevard Ave.
  Bismarck, ND 58505-0599
  701.328.7088 phone
  701.328.3700 fax
  877.328.7088 toll-free
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Rick Clayburgh, Tax Commissioner, 701-328-2770
March 19, 2002 Jill Weigel, Supervisor, Individual Income Tax Section, 701-328-3277

More Taxpayers file electronically this year: Tax Department Receiving Fewer Paper Returns

BISMARCK---Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh announced today that more North Dakotans are filing their income tax returns early and electronically.   Paper returns are giving way to newer, more efficient electronic filing methods.  So far this year, about 150,000 taxpayers have filed income tax returns of which about 34% were electronically filed. 

Commissioner Clayburgh said, “The Federal/State electronic filing program is seeing a sizable increase over last year.   With almost a month to go before the April 15 deadline, the state tax department has already received 51,399 returns electronically.” The total number of returns filed electronically during 2001 was 50,685 returns.

In total, the department expects to receive over 330,000 returns, and anticipates 75,000 of those will be filed electronically this year. A taxpayer can file electronically using a personal computer and special software, an online service, or through a tax professional.

“Electronic filing streamlines the tax filing process by eliminating manual data entry errors and speeds up refunds considerably,” said Clayburgh. “Refunds that would normally take several weeks to process with the traditional paper filing method, especially for taxpayers who wait until the deadline, now take about seven to ten days when filed electronically and when the direct deposit option is chosen.”

Clayburgh emphasized that every piece of paper, such as a tax return or check, involves many steps to process and increases the cost of state government. He said removing paper from the tax filing process ultimately benefits taxpayers by reducing the cost of government.

"Any time we can replace a paper transaction with an electronic one, the taxpayers win," said Clayburgh. "Taxpayers save their time and money, and state government costs less. Electronic transactions also enable the Tax Department to continue our record fast turnaround of refunds. After all, this money belongs to taxpayers and we want them to receive it as fast as possible.

Questions about filing North Dakota income tax returns are answered on the Office of State Tax Commissioner’s web site: www.nd.gov/tax. Taxpayers may also call 1-800-638-2901, toll-free from anywhere in North Dakota, or 701-328-1032 from the Bismarck-Mandan local calling area or from out-of-state for free, confidential, personal assistance during business hours, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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