IRS News Release  
February 24, 2000

Taxpayers Can E-File Federal & State Returns Together

WASHINGTON - While taxpayers filing paper returns have to be sure they donít mix up their federal and state tax forms, those who file electronically can let a computer do that work for them. In most places, e-filers can send their federal and state returns in a single transmission of data. More than six million taxpayers have already done so, an increase of 30 percent over this time last year.

Federal/state e-filers usually send both returns through a transmitter to the Internal Revenue Service, which then forwards the state return information to the state tax agencies for their processing. In four states -- California, Maine, Massachusetts and Minnesota -- the transmitters electronically route the federal and state data to the respective agencies. Only two states with income taxes do not offer computer filing for state returns -- Hawaii and Vermont -- but both may join the IRS Federal/State e-file program next year.

Taxpayers can e-file their federal/state combo either through tax professionals or from their home computers. Many of the volunteer sites under the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs offer free e-filing for those who come to them. Taxpayers can locate volunteer sites in their communities by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

Our partnership with the states gives taxpayers the same benefits for their state tax returns -- greater accuracy, faster refunds and an acknowledgment of filing -- that they enjoy for their federal returns, said Robert Barr, IRS Assistant Commissioner for Electronic Tax Administration. Taxpayers are responding strongly and positively to the electronic tax options the IRS and the state tax agencies are offering. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia also offer telephone filing for their returns. Two of them -- Indiana and Kentucky -- are again partnering with the IRS to offer their taxpayers a joint federal/state TeleFile.

As of Feb. 18, the IRS had received 18.4 million e-filed returns, 57 percent of all returns received. The IRS has processed $43.2 billion in refunds for 22.8 million taxpayers. At $1,893, the average refund is six percent higher than this time last year.

EDITORS í NOTE: States participating in e-filing programs are listed below

Alabama        Illinois    Missouri       Oklahoma
Arizona        Indiana     Montana        Oregon
Arkansas       Iowa        Nebraska       Pennsylvania
Colorado       Kansas      New Jersey     Rhode Island
Connecticut    Kentucky    New Mexico     South Carolina
Delaware       Louisiana   New York       Utah
Dist. Columbia Maryland    North Carolina Virginia
Georgia        Michigan    North Dakota   West Virginia
Idaho          Mississippi Ohio           Wisconsin
Indiana        Kentucky
California *   Massachusetts
Illinois       Minnesota *
Maine *        New York *
Maryland *

[* also receiving returns through the IRS federal/state e-filing program ]

Arkansas       Illinois      Minnesota     Pennsylvania
California     Iowa          Mississippi   South Carolina
Colorado       Kansas        Missouri      Utah
Connecticut    Louisiana     Montana       Vermont
Delaware       Maine         Nebraska      Virginia
Dist. Columbia Massachusetts New Jersey    Wisconsin
Idaho          Michigan      Ohio
Cumulative through the week ending 2/19/99 and 2/18/00
                                1999          2000    % Change
Individual Income Tax Returns
Total Receipts               31,545,000   32,237,000     2.2
Total Processed              21,318,000   24,827,000    16.5
E-filing Receipts:
TOTAL                        16,217,000   18,432,000    13.7
TeleFile (phone)              3,512,000    3,140,000   -10.6
Computer                     12,705,000   15,292,000    20.4
Tax Professionals            11,862,000   13,547,000    14.2
Self-prepared                   843,000    1,745,000   107.0

Refunds Certified by the Martinsburg Computing Center:

Number                       19,644,000    22,828,000   16.2
Amount of principal          $35.052 b.   $43.205 b.    23.3
Average refund                 $1784        $1893        6.1
Direct Deposit Refunds:
Number                       11,588,000     14,167,000  22.3
Amount                      $25.580 b.     $32.215 b.   25.9

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