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Tips to Help Speed Your State Tax Refund Check

March 17, 2004

BATON ROUGE — Many state individual income tax refunds are unnecessarily delayed because of common errors or omissions by taxpayers, says Department of Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges.

“There are a number of common and easily avoided errors and omissions by some taxpayers that delay their state tax refunds,” Bridges says. “These errors or omissions can result in a substantial delay to receipt of a refund by the taxpayer.”

Bridges points out that one cause of a refund delay is the taxpayer’s failure to check the change of address box on the tax return. “We have noticed this problem many times this tax season,” Bridges says. “Checking the box helps us to make the necessary change to an address. Any refund sent to an incorrect address is returned to the Department of Revenue by the post office and results in a substantial delay in delivery to the taxpayer.”

Bridges says taxpayers should note the following tips to avoid refund delays:

1. File electronically. Taxpayers that file electronically have more accurate returns and receive their refunds faster. You may also have your refund deposited directly into your bank account. Go to www.revenue.louisiana.gov for more information.

2. Check the accuracy of the information you provide on the return, including the Social Security Number(s), address, and tax computations. Using the wrong tax table and mathematical mistakes are the leading causes of processing delays.

3. Be sure to sign the return (spouse also, if applicable).

4. Attach all W-2 forms and necessary schedules to the return using paperclips. Do not staple attachments to the return.

5. Taxpayers with an overpayment listed on Line 15 may donate all or part of that overpayment to the specified charities listed on Schedule D, or they may receive a refund or credit of this overpayment.

6. If additional tax is due, include the remittance coupon to ensure proper posting. Pay only the amount on Line 14B.

7. Make checks or money orders payable to the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Do not send cash.

8. If there has been a name or address change during the tax year, mark the appropriate box on the face of the return. Failure to do so may result in a substantial refund delay.

9. Be sure to attach the proper label to the return mailing envelope. Different address labels are provided for filings with a refund due and filings that contain an additional payment.

10. Do NOT include copies of the federal return with the state return.

Bridges points out that taxpayers with questions about their tax returns may contact any offices of the Department for assistance.
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