March 29, 2005 - Columbus, Ohio
- Going Paperless: Almost 70
Percent of Ohioans File Income Tax Returns
- Tax Commissioner Encourages More
Electronic Filing for Tax Dollar Savings
COLUMBUS (March 29) – With less than three weeks until the
April 15 income tax filing deadline, most Ohio tax filers are
embracing technology and going paperless. Almost 70 percent
of Ohio income tax returns so far have been filed
electronically, prompting Ohio Tax Commissioner William W.
Wilkins to encourage even greater numbers of taxpayers to
choose the electronic option. Filing electronically, the
Commissioner said, is more convenient for the individual and
saves Ohio millions in processing costs.
Paperless returns filed as of last week totaled 1,898,734,
compared to 892,168 paper returns. That’s 68 percent of
taxpayers who opted for electronic filing, out of a total of
2,790,902 returns filed so far. The Ohio Department of
Taxation (ODT) expects to process a grand total of more than
five million returns.
“Taxpayers benefit from filing their Ohio income tax returns
electronically by getting refunds back within five to seven
days, and they can avoid that long line of last minute
taxpayers at the post office trying to get their paper
returns in the mail,” Commissioner Wilkins stated.
Even those who owe money can benefit from electronic filing
because they can file their return today – and select an
electronic payment option that allows them to not have their
return filed and the tax paid until the April 15 deadline.
The State of Ohio benefits when taxpayers file electronically
because it costs so much less for ODT to process an
electronic return compared to a paper one: about $1.15 for
electronic vs. about $3 for paper.
“When you process more than five million returns as we do
every year, the savings with electronic filing is huge,”
Wilkins said. “So, I encourage ALL Ohioans: file
If the taxpayer uses a tax preparer, Wilkins urged the
taxpayer to ask their preparer to file electronically. Or,
Wilkins noted, a taxpayer can go on-line to the ODT web site
at tax.ohio.gov and file their state income tax and – if
required – school district income tax using Ohio I-File. Ohio
I-File is the electronic system developed by ODT, and it’s
free to use.
Wilkins noted one advantage of using Ohio I-File or another
electronic system is that it will “do your math for you,”
which eliminates many errors. And for the approximately 75
percent of taxpayers who receive refunds each year, I-File
gets it to them in about five to seven days.
Last year, ODT processed about 5.2 million returns, of which
47 percent – over 2.4 million – were filed electronically.
The department estimated this saved $2.1 million in
Citizens can get answers to questions on tax or electronic
filing issues by visiting the “The Best Tips for Ohio
Taxpayers” page on ODT’s web site or calling ODT Taxpayer
Services at 1-800-282-1780.
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(For more information, contact Gary Gudmundson, ODT
Communications Director, at (614) 644-6903.)