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March 20, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich announces electronic filing up almost 15% from last tax season
Illinois Department of Revenue forecasts that for the first time more than half of individual filers will E-File

CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced that this tax season almost 15% percent more taxpayers have chosen to file their state income taxes electronically than this time last year. The Illinois Department of Revenue projects that for the first time ever, more filers will chose to file electronically than file by paper. In addition to making the filing process faster and more convenient for taxpayers, the E-filing option provides a significant cost savings to the state.  Since the beginning of the 2008 tax season, electronic filers have saved the state $2.4 million in paper processing costs and postage.
“I am pleased that when Illinoisans set out on the sometimes dreaded task of filing their taxes, they are finding our electronic services helpful,” said Governor Blagojevich. “In times like these when families are struggling, we need to do everything we can to get tax refunds to taxpayers quickly and easily. By electronically filing and direct depositing their refund, taxpayers will see their Illinois refund in about a week and their federal refund in about 10 days.”
The Illinois Department of Revenue has enjoyed a consistent increase in electronic filers since the program began in 1991. So far this year, more than 2 million returns have been filed electronically which is a 15 percent increase over this time last year. Over 1.1 million taxpayers have taken advantage of the direct deposit option, an increase of over 19 percent from this time last year. IDOR continues to encourage taxpayers to file electronically on its website tax.illinois.gov or ask about E-Filing when they visit their tax preparer.
Earlier this tax season, Governor Blagojevich launched a consumer awareness campaign to alert Illinoisans about the risks of taking out high-cost refund anticipation loans (RALs) with the message “It’s your refund – get it fast – get it all.”  The state public education campaign warns taxpayers not be enticed by loan offers that come with excessively high interest rates and urge taxpayers to file their taxes electronically to get their refunds fast. The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) and the Department of Finance and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) also launched a website at myrefund.illinois.gov where taxpayers can find more information about RALs and electronic filing.
“The Department of Revenue is continually finding new ways to bring ease and efficiency for taxpayers,” said IDOR Director Brian Hamer. “This year, we encourage taxpayers to wait until they have their W-2s and other necessary paperwork and then file electronically either at home or with a tax professional. You will have your Illinois tax refund in about a week.”
Nearly all Illinois taxpayers can file for free on the department’s web site at www.tax.illinois.gov, and many can also file their federal taxes online at www.irs.gov.


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