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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: Beth Boustead, Public Information Specialist, 701.328.3039
Monday, February 2, 2009

Fong: File Electronically and File Early

BISMARCK, N.D. – Commissioner Cory Fong today encouraged taxpayers to get a head start on their income taxes this year by filing electronically and filing early.

“E-file is the fastest way to file your income taxes and receive your refund, especially if you use Direct Deposit,” said Fong. “Taxpayers who are looking forward to their refund this year will find that using e-file and Direct Deposit will get their refund to them faster than by filing a paper return.”

North Dakota participates in the Fed-State IRS e-file program. Through the IRS e-file program, the e-filed tax return goes directly to the IRS. The IRS forwards the state its data, which is automatically loaded into the department’s computer system. This eliminates the time it takes to mail a paper return, significantly reduces the processing time by removing the hand-keying needed for paper tax forms, and speeds up processing of refunds.

“Filing online is the fastest, easiest, and quickest way to file,” said Fong. “There’s less chance for making simple errors such as math errors, it’s more accurate for processing, and it eliminates the manual processing of the return.”

The Tax Department is a member of the Free File Alliance, which consists of software companies, the IRS, and state governments. Through this Alliance, the software companies agree to offer free electronic filing to taxpayers who meet certain criteria. The Tax Department estimates that nearly 60 percent of North Dakotan’s may qualify for free income tax return preparation and electronic filing through the Free File Alliance.

Taxpayers who do not qualify for the free service are encouraged to check into other online companies who offer electronic filing for a fee. The Tax Department recommends that taxpayers be sure they are comfortable with and understand the services offered by the online companies.

Fong said, “Individuals will take time to check out their tax preparer to make sure they’re comfortable with the preparer’s credentials and services they offer. In the same way, people need to closely evaluate any electronic filing product to make certain it supports North Dakota’s forms and meets their income tax filing needs."

The Tax Department provides a list of free electronic filing companies on its web site at www.nd.gov/tax. For taxpayers who do not meet the free filing eligibility, the department also provides a listing of online companies that provide income tax services for a fee.

For more information about how to e-file and use direct deposit your tax refund, check the Tax Department’s web site at www.nd.gov/tax.

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