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News Release

April 4, 2003  -  Ohio Income Tax Internet Filings Rise Sharply

COLUMBUS (April 4, 2003) – Ohio income taxpayers this year are helping themselves more than ever by choosing to file ‘paperless’ returns. Through March 28, the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) is showing a 20 percent increase in the number of "on-line" or electronic Individual Income Tax returns.

"We are pleased because on-line or electronic filing saves the department, and therefore the taxpayers, so much money," said Ohio Tax Commissioner Thomas Zaino. It costs ODT an average of $3 to process a paper return compared to about 67 cents, on average, to process an electronic one.

Returns filed via the Internet top 1.3 million compared to 1.1 million at the same time a year ago. Total paperless returns, including TeleFile, (the system that allows tax returns to be filed over the telephone), were nearly 1.75 million so far this year compared to 1.58 million last year.

ODT is crediting the new Ohio I-File for a good portion of the increase in Internet filings. Ohio I-File, introduced this year, allows people to file their Ohio income tax returns for free from their home computers. So, far more than 74,000 taxpayers have done just that.

Commissioner Zaino said the advantages of electronic and/or TeleFile are several including reducing errors and the direct deposit of tax refunds. Ohio income tax refunds are typically deposited in a bank account within six to ten days of an electronic return being filed.

As good as electronic filing is, Zaino said people who wait until the last minute to file their taxes may have trouble accessing Ohio I-File and TeleFile because of volume. He, therefore, urged the filing of electronic returns by April 12. The deadline is April 15.Complete instructions on how to use Ohio I-File or TeleFile are contained in the 2002 Ohio IT-140 booklet. Information also is available on the Ohio Department of Taxation web site at http://tax.ohio.gov/

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For more information contact Gary Gudmundson, Communications Director, Ohio Department of Taxation, 614-644-6903.