January 15, 2001
Tim Connolly
(617) 626-2369

Nicole St. Peter
(617) 626-4058

Massachusetts Revenue Commissioner Frederick A. Laskey encouraged taxpayers to electronically file (E-file) their state tax returns using the Department of Revenue's new WebFile application during the official kickoff for the 2001 tax filing season.

Enhancing taxpayers' ability to utilize the Internet to both access state tax information and to file their state taxes is the centerpiece of DOR's filing season initiatives.

"It has been our goal to make it easier than ever for taxpayers to comply with their state tax obligations. Our new WebFile application and other web-based resources are the focal point of this effort," Laskey said during the kickoff event at the Massachusetts Information Technology Center in Chelsea.

About 70 percent of all people who file returns receive a refund and the average refund is $400. The advantage to taxpayers who E-file their returns is that they can get their refund much quicker.

"We have one of the fastest refund turnaround times in the country," Commissioner Laskey said. "We can get a refund back to a taxpayer who files electronically in 3.1 days. And when the taxpayers uses direct deposit it's almost numbing how fast we can turn it around.

"WebFile enables taxpayers and tax practitioners to prepare and file a return, at no cost, via www.massdor.com. WebFile is available using any computer with Internet access, and without having to download special software.

In addition to WebFile, taxpayers can E-file a Massachusetts personal income tax return by touch-tone telephone using Telefile; by using the services provided by an approved tax professional; and by using approved commercial tax preparation software.

"Our website at www.massdor.com has become the backbone of our services for taxpayers, providing one-stop shopping for state income tax needs and allowing access to a wealth of tax information any time of day or night,'' Laskey said.

It is important to note that due to the Patriot's Day holiday, the tax-filing deadline for Massachusetts taxpayers is midnight, Tuesday, April 17, for both federal and state tax returns.

For state tax help, taxpayers can contact DOR by calling in state, toll-free 1-800-392-6089 or (617) 887-MDOR. Taxpayers are also encouraged to use the e-mail function featured on DOR's website, www.massdor.com, where taxpayer questions can be answered on-line within 48 hours.