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Income Tax Refunds Near $170 Million For ''97 Tax Year

Secretary Kennedy Says Over One Million Taxpayers Have Received Refunds

September 01, 1998

BATON ROUGE - Nearly $170,000,000 to date has been refunded to the taxpayers of Louisiana for the 1997 tax year, according to Secretary of Revenue John Kennedy. Of the approximately 1.7 million state income tax returns received to date, over one million refunds have been issued, with the average refund being $162. In addition to the 1.4 million paper tax returns filed, 231,000 returns were filed using the Electronic Filing option, 61,000 were filed using the TeleFile program and 300 taxpayers utilized the new Online Filing option.

To date, the average time for the issuance of refunds by the Department is 12 days for paper returns, 6 days for the Electronic Filing and 5 days for TeleFile. This year, direct deposit of tax refunds for Electronic Filing and Online Filing is a new option being offered by the Department. So far, over 12,000 refunds have been issued by direct deposit.

"I am encouraged by the number of people who are taking advantage of our new ''paperless'' tax filing programs such as TeleFile, Electronic Filing, and Online Filing and seeing how easy and convenient they are," says Secretary Kennedy. "These programs are lowering the cost of handling tax returns, saving taxpayer money, expediting the issuance of refunds, and giving Department employees more time to spend on expanding other customer services."

One of those customer services is the highly successful Taxpayer Refund Status Line. By dialing the toll-free number, 1-888-829-3071, taxpayers can confirm that their Louisiana individual income tax return has been received and determine the status of their refund. In the Baton Rouge area, taxpayers can call 225-922-3270 for the same service. Every Louisiana taxpayer is eligible to participate in this service which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. "For the first seven months of this year, over 255,000 state income taxpayers called and received information. The average call took 69 seconds and most callers got through the first time with no busy signals," says Secretary Kennedy.