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Archive for Tuesday, March 9, 1999

TAX FILING

March 9, 1999

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More Kansas taxpayers are filing returns electronically this year than ever before.

Revenue Secretary Karla Pierce said Monday that the number of "paperless" tax returns was up 22 percent over last year's rate.

"We are so pleased to see the rising number of people using technology to file their state income tax returns," Pierce said. "Not only does it make the processing of returns more efficient, but Kansans are more likely to get their refunds much faster if they file electronically."

According to the Department of Revenue, 122,888 returns have been filed electronically through the federal and state electronic filing program, an increase of 30 percent from a year ago. More than 36,500 have TeleFiled their state income tax returns using a touch-tone telephone. And more than 3,600 Kansans have used the new Kansas PC File method to file from their home computers.

The Kansas results mirror a national trend.

Last week, H&R Block Inc. said its offices logged and filed nearly 17 percent more electronic returns in January and February than a year earlier.

Nearly 85 percent of Block's clients this year are filing electronic rather than traditional paper returns, up from about 79 percent this time a year ago, the Kansas City-based company said.

Separately, the Internal Revenue Service reported that taxpayers already had filed more electronic returns this year than they did through the entire January-through-April season last year.

A big reason for the increases: Taxpayers who file electronic returns can receive refunds in as few as eight days, while paper returns might take four weeks or longer to process.

The average individual state income tax refund also is increasing, revenue department officials said. The 1999 average is $305, up about 40 percent -- or $90 -- from 1998.

The increase is mainly attributable to the food sales tax rebate, Pierce said.

-- Richard Brack's phone message number is 832-7194. His e-mail address is rbrack@ljworld.com.

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