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1998 Louisiana State Tax Forms Mailed To Taxpayers

Secretary Kennedy Says New Filing Programs Mean Faster Refunds For Over 70% of Taxpayers

January 19, 1999

BATON ROUGE - Nearly 1.45 million taxpayers should have received their 1998 Louisiana individual income tax forms in the mail over the last few weeks. Of that number, more than 70 percent of taxpayers will be entitled to a state tax refund, according to Department of Revenue Secretary John Kennedy.

"Our focus at the Department of Revenue has been to develop new, more efficient tax-filing programs that are friendly to the taxpayer and ensure that they receive any refund due to them in the shortest period of time," says Secretary Kennedy. "We''d like to encourage taxpayers to utilize these new filing options and file as early as possible so that we can get their money back to them."

After three successful years, the Department is continuing its TeleFile program this filing season. This year, nearly 593,000 eligible taxpayers will be able to file their state income tax return using a touch-tone telephone. "TeleFile is a good example of Governor Foster''s efforts to make government more user-friendly," said Secretary Kennedy. "We want to return people''s hard-earned money as quickly as possible when they have overpaid their taxes. TeleFile allows us to do that in a very efficient manner." The average TeleFile call lasts just eight minutes and refunds are issued in an average of five working days using this option.

For those taxpayers who utilize professional tax preparers, the Department is again offering the Federal/State Electronic Tax Filing Program that allows tax returns to be filed electronically by computer. "This is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to file both federal and state income tax returns," said Secretary Kennedy. "Those taxpayers who use this option usually receive their state refunds within seven working days. Electronic filing also allows taxpayers to file returns early and pay any additional tax due the state as late as May 15, 1999.

Also continuing this year, Louisiana taxpayers will have the option of filing their individual income tax returns from their own personal computers via software available from participating software providers. Advantages of On-Line Filing includes faster refunds, more accurate returns, and electronic acknowledgments that the IRS and the Department of Revenue have received the returns.

The Department of Revenue also offers a toll-free Taxpayer Refund Status Line which every Louisiana taxpayer is eligible to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By dialing 1-888-829-3071, taxpayers can ascertain that their Louisiana tax return has been received and determine the status of their refund. In the Baton Rouge area, taxpayers can call 922-3270 toll-free for the same service.

Taxpayers should have received their tax forms in the mail no later than January 15, 1999. As in previous years, there are only two booklets: the IT-540 for residents and the IT-540B for nonresidents and part-year residents. Taxpayers who did not receive a form, whose status has changed or who require additional forms or schedules, should contact the Baton Rouge office or any one of the regional offices located in New Orleans (504-568-5233), Lafayette (318-262-5455), Lake Charles (318-491-2504), Alexandria (318-487-5333), Shreveport (318-676-7505), Thibodaux (504-447-0976), or Monroe (318-362-3151).