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February 15, 2014

E-file to avoid common tax season errors

With the tax season under way, many taxpayers are filing electronically. This year, the Department of Revenue is offering qualified taxpayers free, online federal and state tax filing through Indiana Freefile (INfreefile). It’s fast, easy and free for Indiana taxpayers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $58,000 or less.

In 2013, 78.8 percent of Indiana filers used some type of electronic filing. Of those returns filed, 98 percent were accurate, resulting in faster refunds. But nearly 20 percent of paper-filed returns were inaccurate or had mistakes.

The top three filing errors on paper returns are:

• Forgotten forms. If a resident forgets to enclose that W-2 or a Schedule 2 to support a renter’s deduction or a homeowner’s property tax deduction claim, the department has to send a letter requesting that information.

• Claiming more deductions and credits than entitled. For example, $3,000 is the most a filer can claim as a renter’s deduction; claiming more than that will cause your return to be put on hold and reviewed, which will result in a delayed refund or a bill.

• Math errors. Even with a calculator, it’s easy to miss a step, to add when should have subtracted or to transpose some numbers when writing them down.

Although the Indiana Department of Revenue accepts paper filing as a method of filing income taxes, the best way to avoid the top mistakes is to file electronically.

However, if a taxpayer would still like to file by paper, the forms are available:

• Online at www.in.gov/dor/4546. htm

• Indiana Department of Revenue district offices. To search for nearby offices, visit www.in.gov/dor/3390.htm.

• Local libraries. To find your neighborhood library, visit www.in.gov/ dor/4497.htm.

Taxpayers who have filed returns can check the status of their refund online at www.in.gov/dor/4339.htm. Refunds should be received within 10 to 14 days if the taxpayer electronically filed and within 10 to 12 weeks if the taxpayer paper filed.

For more information about this year’s tax season, visit www.in.gov/dor.

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