For Immediate Release - January 21, 2014

DOR Gives MA Taxpayers Free Tool to File Tax Returns Early; Get Refunds Quicker

(Boston-January 21, 2014)-Massachusetts Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter today announced that the Department of Revenue’s free online tax preparation and filing program WebFile for Income opens Wednesday, January 22, 2014 and refunds will begin going out the next day. Taxpayers or their professional tax preparers who use commercial software programs and e-file their state income tax returns can hit the send button on January 29th, two days before the IRS begins accepting federal tax returns.

“Our online filing program is a great way for taxpayers to get a jump on filing their state tax returns”, said Commissioner Pitter. “The easy to use software program is secure, reduces errors and helps taxpayers identify tax credits and exemptions they may not know they can take which can increase the amount of their refund.”

The average turn-around time for processing electronically filed tax forms is less than 6 days compared to more than 18 days for mailed tax forms. Most Massachusetts taxpayers file their tax returns electronically. Last tax year, less than 185,000 out of 3.5 million filers used paper forms which DOR had to manually scan and process. Another 444,102 returns were printed from software programs and mailed instead of e-filed.

WebFile for Income also sends instant confirmation that the Department has received returns and the information taxpayers enter on their returns this year will automatically be transferred to use for future returns.  One of the best features of WebFile for Income is that it lets taxpayers track the progress of their refund.

DOR encourages all taxpayers to e-file their returns. Many libraries, senior centers and other volunteer assisted sites offer free tax preparation and e-filing based on income eligibility. To find the site closest to you visit MA Cash Back.

Taxpayers who need paper forms can download them from www.mass/gov/dor/ or pick them up at all DOR offices, most IRS offices (except Quincy) and most public libraries.

Helpful tax information, tips, how to find qualified tax preparers and instructional videos will be posted on DOR’s "Filing Zone"  webpage throughout the filing season.