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Ohio's Income Tax "News": Filing Deadline-Forms-Rates-Chance to File Online.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The 2007 income tax filing season is bringing a number of "news" to taxpayers including a new deadline for filing tax; new, lower income tax rates; new, easier-to-use (but longer) income tax forms; and a new opportunity to join the millions of Ohioans who file their tax return online.

The good news for taxpayers includes a change in the deadline for filing Ohio tax returns. It has been pushed back one day to Tuesday, April 17th from the original April 16 deadline. This change was made to bring Ohio in line with a similar change of filing deadline made by the IRS. The IRS last week announced the new deadline because Washington, D.C. observes an official holiday, Emancipation Day, on April 16th.

More good news for taxpayers is the second round of 4.2-percent cuts in the income tax rates. Tax tables in the instruction book reflect this latest reduction, which is one of five reductions being phased in over five years for a total reduction of 21 percent.

Perhaps most noticeable this year, taxpayers are finding that the IT-1040 form has expanded from two to four pages, while the IT-1040 EZ form has expanded from one to two pages.

Ohio's income tax forms are longer so Department of Taxation's (ODT) scanners can process the forms more efficiently. The extra length resulted from adding individual boxes for each letter or number entered. The department expects to scan nearly all paper income tax forms this year which will eliminate many of the manual processes used in the past and save taxpayer dollars.

In addition to the new look, this year's income tax forms feature a host of other changes, including a $50 increase in the personal exemption from $1,350 to $1,400 and a new line for deducting certain Ohio National Guard reimbursements and benefits.

A benefit to all taxpayers, one that significantly reduces the cost of processing returns, is available on the ODT Web site (tax.ohio.gov) and it is free to use. Rather than paying to file a state return electronically, Tax Commissioner Richard Levin is urging taxpayers to use Ohio I-File to send in their return online. Levin says the I-File advantages are many, particularly for those getting money back. "By filing on-line and choosing direct deposit, those with refunds can expect them back in about seven business days," he said. Levin said those who owe additional tax can file their return and choose to pay the tax due at a later day, anytime up till April 17th.

Last year, 56 percent of Ohio's income tax filers filed their returns electronically and that number is expected to grow again this year.

Taxpayers with questions can call ODT's taxpayer service line at 1-800-282-1780, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 1, 2007
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