Press Releases

TeleFile Program Reaches Thousands In 1999

Secretary Kennedy Says Program Means Less Hassle And Faster Refunds

February 8, 1999

BATON ROUGE - Nearly a third of Louisiana taxpayers can save money and speed up their refunds by filing their 1998 state individual income tax return by telephone under the state''s successful TeleFile program, according to Department of Revenue Secretary John Kennedy.

"Paying taxes is painful enough. Our goal is to make it as simple as possible," says Secretary Kennedy. "TeleFile is a win-win program. It''s cheaper for taxpayers because they don''t have to pay someone to prepare the return and they get their refund check almost twice as fast."

This year, approximately 593,000 pre-selected taxpayers were mailed TeleFile booklets in addition to their state individual income tax booklet. Kennedy says those pre-selected taxpayers receiving the TeleFile booklet have the option to either TeleFile, file electronically, or file the traditional paper IT-540 return. A taxpayer can only TeleFile if they have received a booklet in the mail and meet all of the pre-selection qualifications printed in the TeleFile booklet.

In order to TeleFile, a taxpayer only needs to complete a short worksheet in the TeleFile booklet, and then call the toll-free 800 number listed in the booklet. Tax information from the worksheet is entered using the number pad of a touch-tone telephone (required in order to TeleFile). The simple worksheet in the TeleFile booklet asks only for the taxpayer''s Social Security Number, Personal Identification Number (the PIN is supplied with the booklet), number of exemptions, federal adjusted gross income, and W-2 information about wages, and state income tax withheld. After entering the information from the worksheet, the tax will automatically be calculated.

"TeleFile is a good example of Governor Foster''s efforts to streamline government and get it off people''s backs," says Secretary Kennedy. "More than 61,000 taxpayers last year averaged only eight minutes to file their individual income tax returns by TeleFile. We expect to shatter that record this year."