Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Robert R. Bliss
blissr@dor.state.ma.us
617-626-2369

Convenient and secure filing program open to virtually all personal income tax filers



The Massachusetts Department of Revenue's free and enhanced WebFile for Income tax filing program is up and running online as of today at www.mass.gov/dor, DOR Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal announced.

DOR introduced WebFile for Income last year, and expanded it this year to include all forms and schedules (with the exception of a little used schedule for installment sales), making WebFile for Income a filing program accessible to virtually all full-year resident taxpayers.

"There is now no reason why a taxpayer has to purchase tax software to file their Massachusetts personal income tax return," Bal said. "WebFile for Income is free, secure, and easy to use thanks to a readily available series of frequently asked questions and substantive tax links. The DOR team that developed this product has done a fabulous job, and delivered a great product to taxpayers."

For years, electronic filing of tax returns has been on the rise. In tax year 2003, about 1.2 million returns or 38 percent of the 3.2 million returns were filed electronically. Last year, almost 2.3 million returns or 66 percent of the 3.450 million returns were filed electronically, including 95,130 using the new, no-schedule WebFile for Income.

"Electronic filing is the quickest, fastest way to process returns and get refund checks back into the hands and wallets of taxpayers," Bal said.

WebFile for Income minimizes the number of mathematical errors since it performs all the calculations required. If a taxpayer is interrupted or short of time while filing on WebFile, the work is saved and retrieved for later completion. WebFile also saves account information and tracks refunds and payments, and help is only a click away.

Navigation tools allow a taxpayer to complete, review and save sections of their return. As the return is filled out online, a taxpayer can see it in PDF form just as it would show on the printed tax form. Taxpayers may print out the PDF when they are finished for their records, but there is no need to send a paper return to DOR. WebFile has been designed to work well with third party screen readers and other disability software.

The new program also uses data entered on the form to help prevent simple mistakes that can significantly delay return processing. For instance, it will prevent a taxpayer from filling out Schedule CB (the Circuit Break Tax Credit) if neither the taxpayer nor the spouse were age 65 before January 1, 2010.

At the completion of a WebFile for Income return, a taxpayer receives a printable receipt to confirm that their information was successfully received by DOR. In addition, taxpayers may log into their accounts at any time to view a printable summary or view detail of the tax data submitted to DOR. Taxpayers who are required to make payments are provided with a secure payment option and have the ability to file now and pay later, up to the tax deadline of April 15th, by scheduling an electronic payment. For a faster refund, money can be wired straight to a taxpayer's bank account.

For a video on all aspects of the filing season, including this year's new and enhanced WebFile for Income go to http://tinyurl.com/ydthske. This video includes an interview with DOR developer Jason Ehle, who explains the security features built into WebFile for Income.