News Releases

News Release

August 06, 1999  -  Columbus, Ohio  -  Technology-friendly Ohioans among leaders in the number of electronic tax returns filed - Electronic filing eligibility expanded for next tax season

More than one million Ohioans filed individual income tax returns electronically last season, putting Ohio second only to California among all 50 states. This number includes both telephone filing and E-File, a new program allowing Ohioans to submit their returns from a personal computer.

"Technology is the key to Ohio’s future economic growth," Governor Bob Taft said. "I am pleased to see so many Ohioans taking advantage of these new technology initiatives."

This was the first year E-File was offered. Taxpayers were able to use their personal computers and tax preparation software to file their 1998 tax returns electronically from home, or have their taxes filed by an authorized electronic filing provider. Approximately 13 percent of the five million Ohio tax returns were filed using the E-File method.

More than 365 thousand returns were filed with TeleFile, an increase of about 133,000 over its debut during Tax Year 1997. TeleFile generally allows single taxpayers with no dependents and less than $50,000 in income to file their income tax returns over the telephone.

"Electronic filing is attractive because it provides taxpayers with faster refunds and simpler forms," said Tax Commissioner Thomas Zaino. "Ninety-four percent of the electronic returns were issued refunds that were received within 14 days of filing."

For the upcoming filing season, the Department will expand TeleFile eligibility to include married couples who file jointly or separately. The maximum federal adjusted gross income level for TeleFile will be raised to $100,000 and direct deposit of refunds will be offered for all TeleFile and E-file customers. The direct deposit program is a joint project of the Department of Taxation and the Auditor of State.

Also new this season -- social security numbers that previously appeared on the outside of income tax booklets will now be replaced with an alternative code number to protect taxpayer’s privacy.

For more information contact:

Gary Gudmundson, Communications Director
Ohio Department of Taxation
(614) 644-6903