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Ten Tips to Speed Your State Income Tax Refund

April 07, 2009

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

“We seem to see the same easily-avoided errors and omissions that delay their state tax refunds,” Bridges said.

A leading cause of a delayed refund 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 said. “Any refund sent to an incorrect address is returned to the Department of Revenue by the post office and results in a substantial delay to the taxpayer.”

The Department of Revenue has a helpful checklist that can help taxpayers avoid delayed refunds:

1. File electronically. Taxpayers who file electronically often have more accurate returns and receive their refunds faster. You may also have your refund deposited directly into your bank account. Visit Louisiana File Online at fileonline.revenue.louisiana.gov. There are no fees associated with its use.

“We’ve already seen 50,000 taxpayers file for free using Louisiana File Online,” said Bridges. “As the May 15th deadline approaches, I predict more people will want to complete their state individual tax returns for free via the internet.”

2. Check the accuracy of your information. This includes all Social Security Numbers on the return, your address, and all tax computations. Using the wrong tax table and mathematical mistakes are 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. Use paperclips to attach forms to your tax return. Please do not staple.

5. Apply for a filing extension in a timely manner. Remember that, beginning with this filing season, the state will not issue an automatic filing extension when you attach a copy of your federal filing extension to your state form. You must request a filing extension by the May 15, 2009, state filing deadline.

6. If additional tax is due, include the remittance coupon to ensure proper posting.

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

8. Update your personal information. If there has been a name or address change during the tax year, mark the appropriate box on the face of your 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.
If you have questions regarding your 2008 Louisiana Individual Income Tax Return, call the Department of Revenue Customer Service Center at 225-219-0102.

To check the status of your refund, call 888-829-3071.