|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||Contact: Rick Clayburgh, Tax Commissioner 701-328-2770|
|February 5, 2003||Jill Weigel, Supervisor Individual Income Tax Section, 701-328-3277|
Tax Commissioner Clayburgh Offers Tax Filing Tips
BISMARCK --- With income tax filing season just getting underway, Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh today offered some helpful tips for North Dakota's Individual Income Tax filer.
Commissioner Clayburgh said, "File electronically! E-filing saves taxpayers time and saves the state money in processing returns." So far this year the tax department has received over 26,000 individual income tax returns. Of that, almost 54 percent have been e-filed.
During 2002, the Tax Department received over 240,000 paper individual income tax returns between January and May. Paper returns must be opened, sorted, and the data is manually entered. By electronically filing the individual income tax return, the information goes directly into the Tax Department processing systems.
Taxpayers who use a professional tax preparer are encouraged to request e-file. And, electronic filing is also available through many purchased tax preparation software products.
"If you cannot file electronically, choose software that supports North Dakota's tax forms and prints a 2-D barcode at the top of the paper return," said Clayburgh. The barcode contains all the information from the return and can be scanned directly into the Tax Department's systems without the need for data entry - reducing the chance of error or delay.
Clayburgh offered these suggestions for taxpayers who file a traditional paper return.
- Include the Federal return when filing the state return.
- Make sure the return is signed. Married taxpayers filing a joint return must have both taxpayers sign the return.
- Be sure to include copies of all W-2's received for 2002.
Last year, the tax department sent back almost 12,000 income tax returns to taxpayers because the returns were missing items. About 400 returns have been sent back so far this year.
Clayburgh suggests North Dakota taxpayers choose direct deposit to receive their income tax refunds more quickly. Direct deposit delivers the refunds electronically into the taxpayers' bank accounts. For refund returns e-filed early, this means your money could be in the bank in as little as five working days, which is considerably faster than the paper process. Taxpayers who choose direct deposit help the state reduce costs and save taxpayers money because the state issues and mails fewer paper checks.
"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. After all, this money belongs to taxpayers and we want them to receive it as fast as possible."
New for this year, taxpayers who owe individual income taxes can pay by credit card - either over the Internet or on the phone. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and VISA credit cards payments may be made over the Internet at WWW.NDTAXPAYMENT.COM, a service provided by Link2Gov. Taxpayers who do not have access to the Internet may call Link2Gov toll-free at 1-888-NDTAXES (1-888-638-2937). Link2Gov will charge taxpayers using their credit card a convenience fee of 2.49 percent to process the transaction.
North Dakota's income tax forms are available on the Tax Department's Web site at www.nd.gov/tax or by calling 1-800-638-2901.