Wednesday, March 22, 2007
Jennifer Parent
617-626-2201

Taxpayers who have not yet filed their income taxes have an extra two days to do so this year. The Massachusetts tax filing deadline is midnight, Tuesday, April 17, 2007 for state and federal personal income tax returns.

Nearly half - or 1.54 million - of all Massachusetts personal income tax returns have already been processed. Of those returns, 75% were filed electronically. Understanding the many benefits, more taxpayers are moving to e-file, with 7% or 74,711 more e-filed returns having been received by the Department of Revenue (DOR) from the same time last year.

Over 80% of taxpayers who already filed their state tax returns have received a tax refund. About half of these taxpayers elected to receive their refund by having the money directly deposited into their bank accounts. Direct deposits eliminate potential mail delays and are the quickest way for taxpayers to gain access to their state tax refund. The current average refund has increased this year to $438.

Revenue Commissioner Alan LeBovidge is encouraging taxpayers to e-file their state tax returns either through the DOR's Telefile, a computer software package or by a tax preparer. Many taxpayers may even qualify to file their state taxes for free. As part of the Massachusetts Free File Alliance, several independent software companies have agreed to provide free tax preparation services to those taxpayers who meet certain eligibility requirements. DOR's website, www.mass.gov/dor, provides more information on eligibility and participating software companies.

"E-filing continues to be the most secure, accurate and quickest way for taxpayers to receive their refund. Taxpayers who have e-filed their Massachusetts state income tax returns are receiving their refunds in 3 to 4 days, as compared to the 2 to 4 week turnaround for paper returns," LeBovidge said.

To learn more about e-file and the Free File Alliance, taxpayers can visit DOR's website ( www.mass.gov/dor), 24 hours a day from the convenience of their own home or office. Taxpayers can also contact DOR's Customer Service Bureau at (617) 887-MDOR or toll-free in Massachusetts at (800) 392-6089.