Tax officials urge filing electronically

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Mississippi State Tax Commission is encouraging businessesto file their 1099 forms and release their their W-2 forms by theend of the month so employees may file their returns quickly.

Lanell Strait, director of the commission’s Brookhaven/Natchezdistrict, said taxpayers have a number of options when filing theirreturn and some options see results quicker than others.

The quickest returns are usually seen by filing taxeselectronically, she said.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Refunds are more accurate, and returns are much quicker,”Strait said. “It’s easier and quicker for the taxpayer, and it’s alot easier on us, too.”

Jim Craig, director of the income tax bureau, explained thatelectronically filing is the best option for taxpayers because it”reduces the number of errors on your tax return because thesoftware checks and corrects common mistakes. E-filing also greatlyreduces the possibility of processing errors due to misreadinginformation from your return.”

Taxpayers receive electronic confirmation that the taxcommission has received their return. E-filing is also the onlyoption that allows for direct deposit of a taxpayers return. Ane-filed return is usually received back by the taxpayer in seven to10 days, Strait said.

The e-filing program has only been available for a few years,but becomes more popular each year, she said, estimating statewideparticipation in e-filing at 40 percent last year.

During 2004, the Tax Commission received 537,000 electronicallyfiled returns out of a total 1.2 million filed. More than 750,000refunds were issued with the average refund being $338.39.

“Electronic filing really increased dramatically,” Strait said.”The refunds on them are so much quicker. Electronic filing mayspeed your return by up to eight weeks.”

Some taxpayers have the option of filing their tax returns bytouch-tone telephone. Single taxpayers with no dependents ormarried taxpayers filing jointly are eligible for telefile.Information and instructions about this program are available onthe Tax Commission website or by calling the commission at (601)923-7810 or 1-800-680-1589.

“If you’re not going to use those options, paper forms can bepicked up at our office or the local library,” Strait said.

The local office will also mail a taxpayer a tax form if theycall them at (601) 833-4761.

Filing online through a personal computer is also available byvisiting the Tax Commission’s website at