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Posted January 28, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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State encouraging e-filing of tax returns

RICHMOND -- If you file your Virginia income tax return on paper this year, it will take longer to issue a refund than in years past.

To reduce costs, the state Department of Taxation will give priority to returns filed electronically in 2009, the agency said Tuesday.

"Like all state agencies, we have had to make some adjustments in the way we operate in order to use fewer budget dollars as wisely as possible," says Tax Commissioner Janie Bowen. "It is considerably more costly to process a paper return than a return filed electronically, so we are urging all taxpayers to file online."

The agency will be hiring fewer seasonal workers to open, sort and process paper returns. Those who file their returns electronically should receive their refunds twice as fast, it said.

Taxpayers have several options for filing their tax returns electronically. They can use iFile, the tax department's free filing service; they can use the IRS e-file program to file both federal and state returns; they can use commercial tax-filing software; they can go to a tax professional and ask that their tax returns be sent electronically; or they can check with their local commissioners of the revenue, who are authorized to transmit tax returns electronically. A list of local commissioners of the revenue can be found on the department's Web site.

Last year, a record 57 percent of individual taxpayers -- more than 2 million -- filed their Virginia tax returns electronically, an increase of over 200,000 returns compared to the previous year.

Daily Staff Report

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