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Tax-Filing Reminder

Making errors on your state individual tax return may delay a refund

February 21, 2001

BATON ROUGE - Early processing statistics show that some taxpayers are making the same types of errors on their state individual income tax return, which may delay any refund due, says Cynthia Bridges, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

"The three most common errors we''ve encountered so far are failing to mark the filing status box, failing to mark the correct number of exemptions, and taxpayers attempting to take the suspended $25 Education Credit under "Special Allowable Credits," Bridges says. She adds that taxpayers cannot take the Education Credit this year or next because the Legislature has suspended the credit for two years.

"When an error is detected by our automatic processing equipment, the return is taken out of routine processing in order to identify the problem. At the very least, this delays a taxpayer''s refund while the problem is resolved," Bridges says. "In some rare cases, the tax return may have to be returned to the taxpayer for correction," she adds.

Bridges says taxpayers can avoid a refund delay by checking the accuracy of the information given on their return, including the Social Security Number(s), address, and tax computations. Besides failing to mark the boxes for filing status or number of exemptions, using the wrong tax table and placing the tax information on the wrong line are other leading causes of processing delays. Taxpayers should also remember to sign the return and attach all W-2 forms. If there has been a name or address change during the tax year, taxpayers should also mark the appropriate box on the form.