For Immediate Release - January 25, 2013

DOR Kicks Off 2013 Tax Return Season with New “One-Stop” Web Page

Links and features of “The Filing Zone” offer most customers everything they need to file free state tax returns

(Boston, MA)-Massachusetts Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter launched “thefilingzone.com”, a new web page that will make it easier to find tax information and help residents file free state income tax returns electronically.

Although the IRS has delayed opening the 2013 federal tax filing season until January 30, 2013, the Department of Revenue (DOR) is now accepting paper and electronic state returns. More than 3,200 taxpayers have used the agency’s free WebFile for Income since it opened on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.

“We have made it a top priority this filing season to provide our customers with the easiest, quickest and safest way to file a state tax return,” said Commissioner Pitter. “Last year, all but six percent of Massachusetts 3.5 million tax filers enjoyed the many advantages of electronic filing. Our goal is to increase efficiencies and better serve our customers by reducing the costs of manually processing paper returns.”

The benefits of filing an electronic return include quicker refunds. Last year, DOR sent out refunds from electronic returns in under four days compared to more than 12 days on average for paper returns. WebFile and other tax preparation software won’t let filers make a math mistake or miss required schedules and unlike a paper return, filers get automatic confirmation that DOR has received their return.

Massachusetts taxpayers can access WebFile for Income right from “thefilingzone.com” and find numerous other helpful resources all in an easy to find and easy to remember location. Among the features taxpayers will see on the new webpage:

  • Statistics on the number of returns processed and turnaround time on both electronic and paper refunds updated daily,
  • Important filing deadlines for all tax types and a countdown to tax day,
  • Tips on which deductions not to miss and mistakes to avoid which can lead to an audit,
  • A list of approved software, tax preparers and free volunteer services for seniors and low-income and,
  • The 2012 tax filing season at a glance which summarizes the work DOR did last year.

The introductory video for “thefilingzone.com” is a parody of the opening for the popular 1960’s TV series “The Twilight Zone” which featured tales of suspense, horror and science fiction.

“We know many taxpayers dread this time of year,” said Commissioner Pitter. “We thought branding the page with references to the TV series would be a way to help relieve their anxiety while the page features will help get them through the filing process as quickly and as painless as possible.”

“Thefilingzone.com” can be found at www.mass.gov/dor/thefilingzone.