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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
February 24, 2004

Tax Department Participates In Free Online Tax Services For North Dakotans

BISMARCK --- Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh announced today that the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner entered into an agreement with the Free File Alliance, a consortium of state and federal government and private sector tax preparation companies to provide free tax preparation and electronic filing for eligible North Dakota taxpayers.

"The Free File Alliance makes it possible for eligible North Dakota taxpayers - low income, senior citizens, students, and active-duty Military - to prepare and file both their state and federal taxes online and free of charge," said Clayburgh. "And the services that are available through the Alliance will make it easier for taxpayers to claim all the credits and deductions they are entitled to. If they file electronically and use Direct Deposit, they can get their state refund in as little as 5 days without paying any fees."

North Dakota taxpayers who meet certain criteria may be eligible for free electronic tax preparation and filing through the Free File Alliance. The eligibility requirements vary with each software company, and are usually based on factors such as age, military status, adjusted gross income, and so on - in order for the taxpayer to qualify for free e-file. Through the Free File Alliance, taxpayers choose from a number of tax software companies and then are directed to that company's website where they may use the free service to prepare and file their tax returns electronically.

Joining Clayburgh were David Macklin, a representative of Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), and Jim Ruda of the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation.

"With companies providing their services through their own websites, " explained David Macklin, a representative of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which sponsored today's event "eligible taxpayers get the same e-commerce tax services that they would otherwise have to pay for." Macklin also noted that this also allows the state to operate the Free File Alliance at "virtually no cost to the government."

"Intuit was very pleased to join the federal Free File Alliance last year and to be an inaugural member of the North Dakota Alliance this year. Our participation in these Alliances strengthens the commitment we began in 1998 of providing free online tax preparation and electronic filing to lower and moderate-income individuals and families," added Intuit's Jim Ruda. As part of its affiliation with the Alliance, Intuit donates its TurboTax® for the WebSM service through the Intuit Tax Freedom Project.

Taxpayers may find an online tax preparation company that offers free e-file by visiting the Tax Department's website at www.nd.gov/tax. Taxpayers who do not have access to the Internet or do not own a computer, are encouraged to check with their local public library or school for availability of their resources. Many Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites also provide access to the service.

For more information about free electronic filing visit the Office of State Tax Commissioner's web site at www.nd.gov/tax or call 701-328-3450.

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