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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
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tax Department Expands Outreach to Include YouTube to Promote Tax Filing Season

BISMARCK, N.D. Tax season has arrived and Tax Commissioner Cory Fong announced the Tax Department plans to use YouTube this year to promote the tax filing season. The Tax Department expects to process over 375,000 individual income tax returns this tax season.

"Over the years we have been using a variety of outlets to communicate to the public about state tax filing obligations along with the various available filing options," said Fong. "This year we plan to use more social media, such as Facebook and YouTube, to reach out to our state's individual income taxpayers."

The Tax Department will release a number of YouTube messages throughout the individual income tax filing season. The YouTube messages will generally be less than 60-second spots. The Department will issue the messages beginning today through April 15. A link to the YouTube messages is on the department's web site at www.nd.gov/tax.

"Our first YouTube message is being released now," said Fong. "Based on our experiences with Facebook, we have learned that social media is very efficient and allows us flexibility in our delivery. We anticipate releasing at least one YouTube message per week, possibly more depending on topics and circumstances that might arise during the tax season."

The Tax Department will use YouTube as another format to deliver a variety of state tax filing messages, beginning with the individual income tax filing season. The format will be used to present tax filing tips, to discuss common filing errors as they occur, and promote overall public awareness about the filing season.

Last year, the Tax Department received nearly 290,000, or over 75 percent, of the individual income tax returns filed electronically. During 2011, the Tax Department issued over 215,000 individual income tax refunds, most of which (63 percent) were issued electronically via direct deposit.

"We will continue to encourage taxpayers to use our online interactive tool to help them wade through the various electronic filing options," said Fong. "E-file is proven to reduce the potential for errors, it helps taxpayers claim all the deductions they are entitled to, which could mean larger refunds for some, and it speeds up the processing of refunds."

Electronic filers typically get their refunds within five days, compared with about two weeks for paper returns.

For more information regarding the YouTube messages, as well as the department's online interactive tool and available filing options, taxpayers are encouraged to visit the North Dakota Tax Department's web site at www.nd.gov/tax, follow us on Facebook and YouTube, or call 701.328.7088.

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