Procrastinators should stay home and log-on to avoid last minute hassle
April 1, 2005
CHELSEA - Revenue Commissioner Alan LeBovidge announced today that DOR expects to receive more than 1.4 million electronic income tax returns this year, passing that milestone for the first time since introducing electronic filing more than a decade ago.
As the midnight deadline for filing 2004 tax returns approached, the commissioner advised taxpayers to avoid the long lines at post offices.
"People tend to procrastinate and that's OK, but there is no sense to stress out trying to find a post office open late tonight," LeBovidge said. "Just relax, stay at home and log on to our website or the IRS website and file your return from the comfort of your own home."
A recent survey by the Federation of Tax Administrators showed that Massachusetts has increased its e-filed returns by 35 percent, more than any other state. This was the first year that DOR mandated e-filing for all tax professionals who file more than 200 returns. The tax professionals will account for about 1 million of all electronic returns this year.
The move to e-filing has been gaining momentum. Last year, about 2.6 million returns were prepared on computer software. However, more than half of those were then printed and mailed to DOR.
"I want to thank the tax practitioners for working with us to boost electronic filing," LeBovidge said. "Last year we ranked among the lowest states in percentage of electronic filing. For a high tech state to be that low didn't make sense to me. We made a concerted effort to get people to hit the send key instead of the print key on their computers."
E-filing is a safe, accurate and efficient way to file tax returns. E-filed returns contain fewer errors and are processed much faster than paper returns. Heading into the last day of the filing season, DOR had already processed nearly $700 million in tax refunds. Taxpayers, who filed their returns online or over the telephone, received refunds in about three days,
As a result of the increased automation, DOR has been processing paper returns the same day they are received. So there is no backlog as DOR prepares for the biggest mail day of the year.
For tax help, taxpayers can visit DOR's website, www.mass.gov/dor or DOR by calling in state, toll-free 1-800-392-6089 or (617) 887-MDOR during normal business hours, 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.