February 20, 2002 - Columbus, Ohio
- TeleFile Advisory: New
(Columbus) -- Ohio Tax Commissioner Thomas M.
Zaino today issued an advisory to taxpayers who received a
TeleFile-only income tax booklet or who have already filed
their return by telephone.
Zaino said the TeleFile-only booklet did not directly alert
taxpayers to a new income tax deduction. The new deduction
allows taxpayers meeting certain income guidelines to
subtract from their taxable income up to $2,500 in tuition
costs paid to a qualified Ohio educational institution. This
deduction and many others cannot be claimed by taxpayers
using TeleFile. Taxpayers have to file an IT-1040 return
(long form) to claim most all deductions and credits.
"We sent TeleFile-only booklets to taxpayers who have a
history of filing less complicated returns, so hopefully it
won’t affect many people. I am sorry for any inconvenience or
confusion we might have caused by not highlighting this
credit in the TeleFile booklet. We certainly want people to
know about all the legitimate ways they can reduce their
tax", Zaino said. "Next time, we will include more detail in
the TeleFile booklet."
The TeleFile booklet lists the ten most frequently claimed
deductions and credits, and instructs taxpayers to file a
paper return if they are entitled to any of the adjustments.
Zaino says that list is based on deductions taken in the
previous year so the new credit wasn’t included."
This new deduction didn’t get mentioned and it should have
been. It was an oversight on our part and we will make sure
that all taxpayers who haven’t yet used our TeleFile phone
system are aware of the deduction", Zaino said. A recorded
message is being added to the TeleFile system telling
taxpayers about the deduction and directing them to file an
IT-1040 if they are entitled to claim it. The message will be
activated on Friday, February 22.
Taxpayers who are eligible for and want to claim the tuition
expenses or any deduction, but have already TeleFiled their
return, will have to file an amended income tax return
(IT-1040X). The forms to file an amended return can be
obtained from the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) web site
(http://tax.ohio.gov/) or by
calling 1-800-282-1782. Forms are also available at many
libraries, banks and post offices.
Zaino says the TeleFile system is an easy, convenient way for
many taxpayers to file their income tax return. He says ODT
has been expanding the TeleFile program to include more
people because it saves tax dollars and has many advantages
for taxpayers. TeleFile is the fastest way to receive (in
7-10 days) a tax refund; it does the math; it allows for
direct deposit of refunds and there’s no cost to the
taxpayer. This is the fifth year that Ohio has offered
The TeleFile-only booklet is sent to selected taxpayers based
on certain criteria including the type of return they filed
in the previous year and their income level. The
TeleFile-only booklet was mailed to approximately half of
Ohio’s 5.5 million income tax filers. All other taxpayers
received a combined booklet that includes IT-1040, IT-1040EZ,
and TeleFile returns.
The new tuition expenses deduction is available to single
taxpayers with a federal adjusted income of less than $50,000
and married taxpayers filing jointly with an income less than
$100,000. The $2,500 deduction can be claimed for each of the
first two years of post-secondary education at an Ohio-based
(For more information, contact Gary Gudmundson, ODT
Communications Director at 614/644-6903).