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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
Friday, April 30, 2010

Fong: 75 Percent of Taxpayers Used E-File

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong today reported that 75 percent of North Dakota’s individual income taxpayers filed electronically during the 2010 tax season, and at a faster and stronger pace this year compared to prior years.

“As the filing season progresses, we typically see a narrowing in the percentage of e-file compared to paper,” said Fong. “This year was different – during the seven days leading up to the April 15 deadline, there was a surge in electronic filing among the last minute filers.”

From April 9 through April 16, the department received 38,987 e-filed returns and 10,639 paper returns. As of April 23, 230,784 individual income tax returns were filed electronically, for a 12 percent increase over the same time last season. And, this season’s number of e-filed returns is ahead of the total number of e-file returns for all of 2009. For the 2009 season, 222,254 returns were filed electronically. During the 2010 season, taxpayers filed 78,271 paper returns for a total 309,055 paper and e-filed returns through April 23.

The strongest increase in e-filers came in the 30 and under age group, for an increase of 8.5 percent of e-file compared to last year. The second fastest growing group was the 51-70 year-old filers with an increase in e-file of 4.4 percent.

Fong said, “Taxpayers were filing earlier this year, probably because they were expecting a refund and they wanted their refund sooner rather than later.”

As of April 23, the Tax Department had issued 193,013 refunds. Of that, 122,414 were direct deposit compared to 110,876 last year – a 10 percent increase in direct deposit. The average refund was more this year than last year – $286 compared to $283 last year.

New this year was a state-only WebFile option to the Tax Department system. The Tax Department also implemented a new interactive tool for taxpayers to use to guide them to an online e-file service.

“We added the WebFile feature to accommodate those tax filers who had already filed their federal return, in many cases electronically, and were looking for an electronic method of filing their state return,” said Fong. “We also implemented a new interactive online tool. With the many different e-file companies available to taxpayers, we felt that some taxpayers have missed out on the Free File option in the past because they have been unsure which free offering works best for them. We created the interactive tool to help them wade through the free offers and identify which company might work best for them.”

The new tool helps taxpayers identify which method to use – Free File, IRS E-File, or WebFile. According to the Department web site statistics, the online tool was viewed almost 54,000 times.

For more information about the Tax Department, visit their web site at www.nd.gov/tax/or follow them on Facebook.

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