With the tax-filing deadline a month away, Comptroller Peter Franchot encourages taxpayers who have yet to file to take advantage of all the conveniences of electronic filing. This year, taxpayers have three extra days to file; the deadline is April 18 due to Emancipation Day celebrations in Washington, D.C., on April 15.
“The best way to ensure a quick refund is to file electronically,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Filing electronically also allows taxpayers who owe money to delay payment until April 30.”
To date, more than 1.29 million taxpayers have filed their personal tax returns electronically with more than 90,000 filing via paper. Based on 3.04 million returns filed last year, the returns filed so far represent 45 percent of last year’s total.
Marylanders are urged to file electronically to ensure they receive their refund within days as opposed to weeks, as more than 1.29 million taxpayers already have taken his advice. To date, refund payments of more than $1 billion have been issued to more than one million taxpayers.
Comptroller Franchot also asks taxpayers to review their returns carefully before filing, as simple mistakes can significantly slow down the processing of a tax return and refund. To ensure an accurate return, taxpayers should remember to: check Social Security numbers; verify bank account (checking/saving) and routing numbers for direct deposit refunds and direct debit payments; double-check calculations; and include all pertinent information including relevant forms and documents, such as the W-2 form.
Although electronic filing is strongly preferred, taxpayers filing paper returns should follow all the tips provided above, as well as remember to: write legibly or type; use a pen; and sign the tax return.
Electronic filing saves the state significant money in processing costs. Each paper return costs the state more than $2 to process, compared to 19 cents for e-filed returns resulting in savings of millions of dollars each year.
Free state tax assistance is available at all of the agency’s 12 taxpayer service offices, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For branch location information, visit: www.marylandtaxes.com.