Monday, April 14, 2009
Robert R. Bliss
blissr@dor.state.ma.us
617-626-2369

2.36 million tax returns filed so far, about 1 million more will be filed by midnight tomorrow; Many filers will be due a refund that is averaging $472, up $33 from the same time a year ago



With little more than 24 hours remaining before the midnight April 15th tax filing deadline, many of those who have yet to file their state income tax will find that a refund awaits them.

As of today almost 1.8 million taxpayers had received refunds averaging about $472, which is up $33 or an increase of seven percent over the same time a year ago. Last year, more than 2.3 million of the 3.4 million tax filers received a refund.

"So far this tax season the trends have been pointing in the right direction for taxpayers" said DOR Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal. "Returns have been filed more quickly, electronic filing is up, the size and number of refunds are up, the turnaround time for getting those refunds for those who file electronically is faster than ever, and more taxpayers are having their refunds direct deposited into their accounts, which means fewer refund anticipation loans."

As of yesterday, 2,364,255 returns had been filed with about 3.4 million expected by the time filing season ends. So far this year, DOR has processed 53,413 more returns than a year ago, up two percent.

Electronic filing is up as well, 1,872,940 filings this year compared to 1,789,381 at this time last year, up 83,559 or five percent.

Refunds are up as well, with 1,797,242 paid so far totaling $848,054,596. At this time last year 1,734,708 refunds had been paid worth $761,654,788, so the number of refunds is up 62,534 or four percent and amount refunded is up $86,399,808 or 11 percent.

The number of refunds paid to taxpayers on direct deposit is 942,688 this year, up 19 percent 02 151,825 from 790,843 a year ago.

Turnaround time for electronic refunds is faster by nine percent, from 3.5 days a year ago to 3.1 days so far this year. Turnaround time for paper returns is the same as last year, 6.9 days.

Tips for Last-Minute Filers

As the tax filing deadline approaches, here are a few reminders to help make filing your return as stress-free as possible.

  • File electronically. DOR has a number of electronic filing options - including the new WebFile program - that are convenient, secure and free. E-filing also helps prevent many of the common mistakes made on paper returns.
  • Check Social Security numbers. Verify that all the Social Security numbers on the return are correct. Incorrect SSNs are a common error on tax returns.
  • Remember to include a completed Schedule HC pdf format of HC.pdf
with your income tax return. Failure to do so will delay the processing of your return.
  • Double-check your math. Simple arithmetic errors are a common reason for delays in getting your refund.
  • Choose direct deposit. To get your refund faster, choose direct deposit. DOR will deposit your refund directly into your checking or savings account.
  • Sign your return. Each year, DOR sends thousands of returns back to taxpayers for signatures. If you are filing jointly, make sure your spouse also signs the return.
  • Use the correct mailing label. If you are mailing a paper return, be sure to affix the proper mailing label to the envelope. If you do not have a mailing label, see the DOR website for tax form mailing addresses.

The Department of Revenue is here to help. You can find a wealth of information at www.mass.gov/dor or you can call our Customer Service Bureau for assistance at 617-887-6367 or toll-free in Massachusetts at 800-392-6089 Monday-Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.