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News Release

April 5, 2004  -  Columbus, Ohio  - OHIO PITCHES ‘ON-LINE’ FILING FOR FASTEST REFUNDS
Ohio I-File Delivering Quick Refunds and Tax Savings

Columbus -- (April 5, 2004) Ohio Tax Commissioner Bill Wilkins today urged all those who still haven’t filed their Ohio income tax returns to file electronically to get tax refunds back fast—and save all Ohio taxpayers millions of dollars.

“Electronic filing is the best way to go for the taxpayer, and it is the best way to go for those who worry about how tax dollars are spent,” Wilkins said. “Most people know about TeleFile and e-file, but I want to remind everyone that they can go on-line to the Department of Taxation web site and file using Ohio I-File. It’s only the second year Ohio I-File has been available, so a lot of people may not know about it. It’s easy and it’s free.”

Generally, he said, benefits to the taxpayer of electronic filing include:

--Direct deposit of a tax refund into a taxpayer’s bank account within five to seven days of filing a return. (Refunds from a paper return can take six to eight weeks.)

--With Ohio I-File, most taxpayers take only ten minutes to file a return.

--A return can be filed anytime with Ohio I-File, and the taxpayer receives instant confirmation of the filing.

--Ohio I-File is free! Most electronic filing systems charge a fee to file state taxes; with Ohio I-File there is no charge.

--Tax due payments can be made on-line by credit card or electronic check which allows taxpayers to choose a payment date of any day up to and including April 15th.

--Ohio I-File minimizes errors.

Wilkins said Ohio I-File and other electronic filing options deliver benefits to more than just the individual taxpayer.

“Everybody complains about taxes. Electronic filing is one way they can do something about it. People who file their tax returns electronically save Ohio millions of tax dollars,” Wilkins said. “That’s because it costs us about $3 to process a paper return compared to an average $1.15 to process one electronically.”

Wilkins added, “When you process more than five million tax returns every year the way we do, the savings with electronic filing are huge.”

Last year, about 40 percent – more than 2.2 million – of all returns coming into ODT were electronic. Only California had more paperless returns. Ohio receives a total of about 5.6 million returns.

(For more information, contact Gary Gudmundson, director of communications, Ohio Department of Taxation, at 614-644-6903.)