New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox testified Monday to a Joint Legislative Budget Hearing that e-filing continues to significantly advance over paper filing.
Only one week into the tax season, more than 1.3 million taxpayers have e-filed their income tax returns - more than 10 percent of the total expected. In comparison, the Department has received only 8,000 paper income tax returns this year.
"E-file is widely accepted as the easiest, safest and fastest way to prepare and file income taxes, and our numbers continue to increase each year," testified Commissioner Mattox. "And for the millions of New York taxpayers expecting refunds, the message should be perfectly clear - e-file to receive your refund twice as fast compared to mailing a paper return."
Commissioner Mattox's Testimony to the Joint Senate and Assembly Budget Hearing
Nearly 90 percent of New York's 10 million taxpayers e-filed last year. This year, thanks to the Department's new Income Tax Web File, almost all New Yorkers can prepare and e-file their State returns for free. Already, more than 7,000 have used the new option, with thousands more taking advantage of free software options available from the Department's Web site.
Also new this year, the Tax Department now accepts all income tax forms electronically, removing any barrier to filing electronically.
"Not only is e-filing safer and faster than mailing a return, but it's also more accurate," added Com-missioner Mattox. "Paper returns are 20 times more likely to have errors than e-filed returns."
In addition taxpayers receive prompt confirmation of receipt for e-filed returns, alleviating the need for certified mail or concerns of whether a return has been received by the Tax Department.
Commissioner Mattox noted that, by creating a Tax Department Online Services account, taxpayers can receive email alerts regarding their refunds, view their returns online, and use several other features. In the past year, income taxpayers created more than 220,000 Online Service accounts - a 34 percent increase - bringing the total to nearly 900,000.
Taxpayers have until Tuesday, April 15 to file their 2013 tax returns.