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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 Contact: Rick Clayburgh, Tax Commissioner   701-328-2770
May 17, 2002 Jill Weigel, Supervisor, Individual Income Tax, 701-328-3277

Refund Checks Are In The Mail

BISMARCK --- Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh announced today that the Tax Department has processed and mailed all refunds for correctly filed 2001 income tax returns that were filed by the April 15 deadline.

"Taxpayers should have received refunds if they filed their return on time and there were no errors or missing information,” said Commissioner Clayburgh.

There are a number of reasons taxpayers may not yet have received an expected refund. They may have filed an amended return, or their return may have included errors, such as a missing signature, a missing W-2 form, or failure to include a copy of a federal return. Returns with mistakes or omissions were sent back to taxpayers. This creates a delay in issuing the refund for a number of weeks.

Clayburgh released the most recent statistics available for this tax-filing season. So far, the Tax Department has issued 148,581 refunds this year, or about 50 percent of the returns filed so far. That compares with 148,102 refunds processed last year. The average amount of each refund this year was over $154.

Clayburgh said, “More taxpayers took advantage of filing electronically this year, which reduced the number of paper returns the Tax Department processed manually.”

Electronically filed returns increased by over 50 percent this year, 77,692 compared to 50,685 electronically filed returns last year. Of the number of returns filed electronically this year, over 10,000 e-filers (about 13 percent) prepared their own return over the Internet using purchased software or an Internet on-line service. Tax preparers contributed the most to the growth in e-filing submitting over 67,000 returns electronically. The Tax Department received over 240,000 paper returns this tax season as compared to almost 260,000 paper returns last year.

“Electronic filing greatly reduces the amount of time people wait to receive their refunds,” said Clayburgh. “In fact, those who file by this method and select Direct Deposit usually receive their refund checks within a week. We will continue to encourage electronic filing because taxpayers get their refunds more quickly and the Tax Department reduces paperwork.”

Clayburgh said, “Over 49,000 taxpayers (about one-third of those receiving refunds) had their refunds directly deposited into their bank account.”

Some taxpayers have contacted the department about the status of their refunds. In checking, it has been discovered that the refund has been directly deposited in the caller’s bank account. Clayburgh suggests that taxpayers check their copy of their state return to see if they completed line 30 on Form ND-1, triggering a direct deposit. Or, they can contact their bank to determine if the refund has already been deposited.

For more information or to inquire about a refund, taxpayers can contact the Office of State Tax Commissioner through e-mail at individualtax@state.nd.us or call the Tax Department locally in Bismarck at 328-3450 or toll-free at 1-800-638-2901. If requesting information about a refund, callers will need to provide their name, address, social security number, filing status and exact dollar amount of their expected refund.

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