|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
CONTACTS: Kathy Hennessy
|February 14, 2005||
Electronic Filing Options Takes Off for New Jersey Taxpayers
TRENTON _ Tax season has just begun but already there has been a 42 percent increase in the number of paperless Income Tax returns received from New Jersey taxpayers this year compared to the last, State Treasurer John E. McCormac announced today.
Of the New Jersey Income Tax returns received so far for the 2004 tax year, four out of five have been filed through one of New Jersey's "FastFile" options. The FastFile, user-friendly systems include NJ TeleFile, NJ WebFile, and NJ ELF, which enable taxpayers to submit paperless returns over the telephone, via the Internet, or through use of a computer-software package.
"Although it's early in the season, we have already seen a dramatic increase in the number of electronically filed returns," McCormac said. " New Jersey taxpayers have discovered that electronic filing is 'the way to go' to ensure accurate and speedy processing of their income tax returns."
The Division of Taxation has received 336,881 electronic returns so far this year, compared to 236,841 electronic returns by this time last year.
" New Jersey residents are finding that there is an NJ FastFile option that works for them," Tax Director Robert K. Thompson said. "And those who use NJ FastFile have their refunds processed more quickly, usually within two weeks. In addition, only taxpayers who file their returns electronically can have their refunds directly deposited into a bank account."
NJ TeleFile allows taxpayers to file their returns free of charge by dialing 1-888-235-FILE (3453) from a Touch-tone telephone in New Jersey or its surrounding states and following the automated voice prompts. Users should be sure to complete a TeleFile worksheet prior to calling the toll-free number.
NJ WebFile offers free, Internet-based filing from the Division of Taxation's secure Web site. Everything you need to prepare and file a New Jersey income tax return can be found at www.njwebfile.com .
NJ ELF enables those filing their federal returns electronically to submit New Jersey returns at the same time. Taxpayers can file via computer with approved tax-preparation software or by visiting an online tax-preparation site. They can also seek the services of a tax professional. Taxpayers who use NJ ELF no longer need a New Jersey PIN if they are filing only a New Jersey return, but a federal PIN is still required when federal and State returns are filed together. A list of approved software vendors can be found on the Division of Taxation's Web site at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/appsoftvend.htm .
"Since electronic filing was introduced for New Jersey income tax returns in 1995, the number of returns filed electronically has grown from a few hundred to more than 1.1 million and we expect that number to exceed 1.4 million this year," said Director Thompson. "As more and more people pay bills and bank by phone or online, it's only natural for them to seek out an electronic method for filing their income tax returns as well. Once taxpayers discover how easy and convenient it is to file electronically, they tell us they would never go back to filing a paper return."
Taxpayers should be aware that both the federal government and New Jersey this year opted not to mail the paper booklets to taxpayers who filed electronically last year. The limited mailing reduces costs to New Jersey , which spent $8 million last year to hire temporary employees and cover other administrative costs to process paper applications. The State booklets are readily available at New Jersey public libraries and on the Division of Taxation website.
New Jersey now requires all tax practitioners who prepared 200 or more 2003 New Jersey income tax returns to use either NJ TeleFile, NJ WebFile, or NJ ELF when filing their clients' 2004 returns. "We've already started to see the benefits in the form of a significant increase in the number of returns filed early and filed electronically," said Thompson. "The number of all returns filed is up 23% over this time last year, and the number of electronically filed returns has increased more than 42%."
Taxpayers who owe State income taxes for 2004 can make their payments online through either electronic check (e-check) or by credit card at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/online.htm . Those who file early can pay when the return is submitted or wait until as late as April 15, 2005.
New Jersey income tax forms are available online or by fax in a format suitable for processing for anyone who must complete a paper return. Visit our Web site at www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/taxprnt.htm , or call NJ TaxFax at 609-826-4500 for the appropriate form.
Most NJ FastFile systems are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Taxpayers must have submitted a 2003 New Jersey income tax return in order to use any of the NJ FastFile methods. Nonresident returns, amended returns, returns for prior years, and returns requiring certain enclosures or schedules cannot be filed electronically. For more information, visit www.njfastfile.com or call our customer service center at 609-292-6400. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.