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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
April 21, 2003


Filing Season Marked by Record-Breaking Numbers

BISMARCK --- Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh reported that a record-breaking number of North Dakota taxpayers filed their tax returns electronically this year.

As of today, over one-third of North Dakota's individual income tax returns were filed electronically. The total individual income tax returns filed in North Dakota is about 300,000 and as of today 101,063 returns have been filed electronically.

"Taxpayers are clearly recognizing the advantages of filing their tax return electronically," said Clayburgh.

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. Paper returns must be opened, sorted, the data manually entered into the computer system, and then filed. He said removing paper from the tax filing process ultimately benefits taxpayers by reducing the cost of government.

"I don't think we will ever eliminate paper returns," Clayburgh said, "With the technology tools we've been able to implement, this is certainly one of the smoothest, most efficient filing seasons yet."

By electronically filing the information goes directly into the Tax Department processing systems. This means that the Tax Department has not had to hire as many temporary employees. With 33 percent of tax returns filed electronically, the tax department is noticing a cost savings. For the months of January, February, and March of this year, the tax department has saved almost $28,000 in salaries for temporary employees.

"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."

As of April 21, Tax Department statistics show a dramatic increase in the use of computers to file tax returns. Among the highlights:

  • Through April 21, taxpayers filed 101,063 returns electronically - surpassing the 78,932 e-filed all of 2002 and nearly double the 50,685 e-filed returns in 2001.
  • Tax preparers submitted the largest number of e-filed returns, accounting for 85 percent.
  • 15 percent of the e-filed tax returns were prepared by the taxpayer and filed over the Internet.
  • $27,826 in temporary salaries has been saved.
  • 54,437 refunds were issued through Direct Deposit.
  • Direct Deposit saved the Tax Department an additional $20,142 in postage that would have been required to mail out a paper check.
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