January 12, 2000 - Columbus, Ohio
- File These Tax Tips
by Thomas M. Zaino, Tax Commissioner
Ohio taxpayers this year will have more choices and more
convenience than ever in filing income tax returns. The Ohio
Department of Taxation has made changes which give more
people more options for filing returns and an even faster way
to get a refund.
Ohioans have four different methods for filing their 1999
income taxes: TeleFile; Electronic Filing; the 1040EZ for
‘easy’ returns; and Ohio’s standard 1040.
TeleFile, which enables pre-selected taxpayers to file by
telephone, has been expanded this year. This quick and easy
filing method is being offered now to many married couples,
filing jointly or separately. In addition, the qualifying
income level for TeleFilers has been increased to $100,000
per return, up from $50,000 in 1998. These changes make
telephone filing available to an additional 500,000
taxpayers. If you receive a TeleFile booklet in the mail,
you’re eligible to file by phone.
New this year, for taxpayers who choose to TeleFile or who
file electronically (E-File), is the option of having tax
refunds deposited directly in a checking or savings account.
This direct deposit service, a joint project of the
Department of Taxation and the Auditor of State, is the
fastest way to receive a tax refund. Refunds will be
deposited within seven to ten days of filing.
Speedy refunds and convenience are attracting a growing
number of Ohio taxpayers to the E-File program. More than
650,000 people filed electronically last year. That’s a
record for Ohio and the second highest rate in the country.
Most people E-File with the help of tax practitioners who are
authorized electronic filing providers. Other people use
their own computer and special tax preparation software to
file their income tax returns electronically. State, federal
and school district income tax returns may be filed
For those who prefer to file a "paper" return, the 1040EZ
form offers another easy way to file. The EZ form was
revamped last year to meet the needs of more Ohio taxpayers.
The most frequently filed income tax return is Ohio’s 1040
form. If you are filing the Ohio 1040, there are some new
deductions this year. Check inside the cover of the
instruction booklet for more information. The 1040EZ and 1040
forms have been mailed to taxpayers throughout the state. If
you need additional forms, they’ll be available after January
20, 2000 at local banks, post offices and libraries. You can
also call 1-800-282-1782 and we’ll mail or fax the forms you
To enhance customer service, the Department of Taxation is
expanding its hours at taxpayer assistance telephone centers.
In addition, state tax department personnel will be available
at Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sites in five cities:
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo. For exact
locations and times for individual assistance, call
I-800-282-1780. Regular business hours are Monday through
Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A resource that’s available for taxpayers anytime is the
Department of Taxation website. You can obtain tax forms,
loads of information and the answers to many frequently asked
income tax questions. Visit us at http://tax.ohio.gov/.
All of us at the Ohio Department of Taxation are committed to
making our state’s tax system work as efficiently as possible
for taxpayers. We welcome any comments or suggestions that
will help us make the system work better for you.
Thomas M. Zaino became the Ohio Tax Commissioner
in July, 1999. Previously, he was a partner with the
accounting firm PricewaterhousCoopers. Mr. Zaino holds a
B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Cincinnati and a
law degree from The Ohio State University.