News Releases

News Release

May 6, 2002  -  Columbus, Ohio  - 'Paperless' Tax Filing Attracts Savings and Taxpayers

COLUMBUS – Ohio’s push for a ‘paperless’ income tax filing system is paying off for state taxpayers. Tax Commissioner Thomas M. Zaino says Ohio taxpayers saved more than one million dollars this year with electronic filing of tax returns. He said an increasingly automated system will provide even greater savings in years to come.

"We’ll never totally get rid of paper, but clearly people are recognizing the advantages of filing their tax return electronically."Zaino made his comments after reviewing results of the latest income tax filing season. They show that almost 37 percent of the 5.4 million returns filed this year were ‘paperless,’ meaning they were transmitted via computer or by telephone.The estimated savings in tax dollars comes from the lower cost of processing a paperless return. The cost of processing a paper return is 70 cents to $1.25, depending on the type of return. That compares to an average of 35 cents to process a paperless return.Zaino said the number of paperless returns this year went up nearly 25 percent from last year to about two million. E-File returns totaled nearly 1.4 million; TeleFile returns, those filed by telephone, topped 620,000.Nationally, paperless returns increased 16 percent. TeleFile returns actually declined slightly across the country, but in Ohio, they were up nearly 33 percent.Zaino attributed the rise in paperless filing to several factors:

  • The incentives offered only with paperless filing, like quicker refunds and direct deposit of refunds.
  • The increase in potential TeleFilers. Ohio expanded the TeleFile program making it available to more Ohioans than ever before.
  • The promotion of paperless filing by tax practitioners in Ohio.

"I also think people are just becoming more comfortable with electronic filing," Zaino said.He said other steps are being taken right now to further automate tax collections in Ohio, including the development and implementation of the Ohio Business Gateway. It allows businesses to file and pay many of their state taxes "on line."

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(For more information, contact Gary Gudmundson, ODT Communications Director, at (614) 644-6903.)