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News Release

June 22, 2004  -  Columbus, Ohio  - OHIO INCOME TAX SEASON PILES UP ‘PAPERLESS’ SAVINGS Nearly half of 2003 returns filed electronically

Columbus -- Almost half of Ohio taxpayers pitched their paper income tax returns this year, choosing instead to file electronically, and Ohio Tax Commissioner William W. Wilkins said, with that choice, the savings in tax dollars are piling up.

This most recent filing season, about 46 percent, or 2.4 million taxpayers, filed a ‘paperless’ Ohio income tax return. It cost about $2.7 million to process those returns. By contrast, it cost the Department of Taxation (ODT) about $8.7 million to process the 2.9 million paper returns filed.

“The savings with electronic filing are real and significant ,” Wilkins said. “We will be working even harder next year to make people aware of the advantages of filing an electronic return and encourage them to do so.”

It costs the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) $1.15 to process an electronic return compared to $3 to process a paper one. With the volume of electronic filing received this year, ODT took 16,000 fewer hours to process returns this year than last. That alone saved $250,000 in staff costs. Total electronic returns this year grew 9.3 percent over last year.

There are several ways to file electronically including Ohio I-File, the online filing system available at the ODT web site (, TeleFile, commercially available tax preparation software, or by going to a tax preparer.

Electronic filing saves Ohio taxpayers millions of dollars, but it also delivers benefits to the individual taxpayer filing a paperless return. Chief among those benefits is the rapid processing of refunds. Taxpayers filing electronically usually receive their refund in fewer than seven days. Turnaround time for refunds claimed via a paper return can be four to six weeks. In addition, refunds claimed electronically can be deposited directly into the taxpayer’s bank account. That option is not available with paper returns.

The average refund this year was $232.75 compared to $226.80 in 2003.

ODT, like most state tax agencies, saw a drop in TeleFile returns and a corresponding increase in online returns. In Ohio, almost 100,000 fewer taxpayers phoned in their return this year, while Ohio I-File attracted nearly as many new users. I-File returns exceeded 211,000. There is no fee to use Ohio I-File.


For more information contact Gary Gudmundson, Director of Communications,