Tuesday, February 04, 2014
 
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Tax season opens

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[February 04, 2014]  CHICAGO The Illinois Department of Revenue has announced that it will start accepting and processing tax returns filed electronically. Once federal tax returns have been completed, Illinois taxpayers have several options for filing their state returns. MyTax Illinois, the Illinois Department of Revenue's online filing system, walks taxpayers through all of the options for credits and deductions. This option is free and available to almost every Illinois taxpayer. It is available at tax.illinois.gov.

Taxpayers may also file electronically, either through paid tax preparers or software designed for 2013 tax year filings. Last year, 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically, and many received refunds through direct deposit in about a week. Taxpayers who would prefer to do so may download the forms they need, fill them out and mail them to the Department of Revenue through the U.S. Postal Service.

"The state of Illinois urges low-income working families and senior citizens to seek assistance from nonprofit agencies to help them file electronically and get the biggest refunds to which they are entitled," said Brian Hamer, director of the Illinois Department of Revenue. "The earned income tax credit already helps more than 900,000 taxpayers in Illinois, but 20 percent of eligible families have not applied for the credit. We hope to change that this year."

Filing returns electronically has significant benefits for taxpayers. Math errors are caught before returns are filed, signatures are affixed electronically and tax preparation programs help to make sure that taxpayers receive all of the credits and deductions for which they are eligible. This is particularly helpful to the more than 1 million families eligible for the earned income credit or education credits.

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State taxes filed electronically with instructions to issue direct deposit refunds are paid very quickly. Taxpayers who don't have a regular bank account may instead opt to receive their Illinois refund on a debit card that eliminates check-cashing fees. Once tax returns are filed, taxpayers may go to the tax.illinois.gov website to track the processing time of their returns and when they should see their refund.

Once Illinois taxpayers have received their W-2s, interest and dividend statements, property tax and mortgage interest payment information, and other tax reporting information, they should complete their federal taxes. Then they can file their state taxes.

Taxpayers who received a refund on their Illinois taxes last year may go to tax.illinois.gov to obtain an electronic copy of their 1099G, showing the amount of last year's tax refund that Illinois reports to the IRS.

[Text from Illinois Department of Revenue news release received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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