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1999 Louisiana Individual Income Tax Booklets Mailed

January 05, 2000

BATON ROUGE - Nearly 960,000 taxpayers will receive their 1999 state individual income tax booklets in the mail over the next two weeks, according to Department of Revenue Secretary Brett Crawford. This figure is some 650,000 fewer than in past years because taxpayers who have used alternative methods of filing for the past two years, such as TeleFile, electronic filing, a paid-preparer''s substitute form, or by on-line computer, are not being mailed booklets.

"Normally, the state mails 1.6 million pre-addressed individual income tax booklets each January," Secretary Crawford says. "But this year, the state is saving $260,000 in printing and postage costs by not mailing booklets to taxpayers who use alternative methods of filing." Secretary Crawford says a study has shown that the Department processed only about one-third of the pre-addressed booklets mailed last year. The reason, he says, is the growing popularity and convenience of alternative filing. He points out that the pre-addressed booklet is usually discarded when a taxpayer uses an alternative method of filing.

Secretary Crawford says the focus at the Department of Revenue has been to develop and promote these new "paperless" and user-friendly tax-filing programs. He adds that they are more efficient, incur fewer errors, and ensure that taxpayers receive any refund due in the shortest period of time.

After four successful years, the Department is continuing its TeleFile program whereby nearly 600,000 eligible taxpayers will be able to file their state income tax return using a touchtone telephone. The average TeleFile call lasts just nine minutes and refunds are issued in an average of four working days using this option.

"One of the easiest and most convenient ways to file both federal and state income tax returns is electronically through a paid-preparer using the Federal/State Electronic Tax Filing Program," Secretary Crawford says. Taxpayers who use this option usually receive their state refunds within six working days. This year, electronic filing begins on January 14, 2000.

Also continued this year is the taxpayer option to file an individual income tax return by personal computer via software available from participating software providers. Advantages of this On-Line Filing Program include faster refunds, more accurate returns, and electronic acknowledgments that the returns have been received by the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Revenue.

Again this year, the Department of Revenue is providing a toll-free Taxpayer Refund Status Line that every Louisiana taxpayer is eligible to use 24-hours-a-day, 7 days a week. By dialing 1-888-829-3071 (or 922-3270 locally in the Baton Rouge area), taxpayers can ascertain that their Louisiana tax return has been received and determine the status of their refund. Taxpayers may also call the number to request tax forms. Forms may also be obtained at most libraries, IRS offices in major metropolitan areas, and regional offices of the Department in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport, Thibodaux or Monroe.

This year, for the first time, taxpayers may also download an individual income tax return form from the Department''s Internet web page at www.rev.state.la.us. However, taxpayers should note that the downloaded form cannot be processed by automatic electronic scanning equipment. Forms that cannot be electronically scanned have to be manually processed, which takes longer and may delay any refund due.