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INCOME TAXES File by phone for fast refund



Published: Thu, February 14, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The TeleFile worksheets are sent to eligible filers.

YOUNGSTOWN -- The Internal Revenue Service and the Ohio Department of Taxation hope to take the headache out of tax season for Ohio residents.

The TeleFile system is an interactive computer program that automatically calculates your income tax returns and begins the electronic filing process over the telephone.

It can be used for federal and state returns. It boasts a quick and easy way to electronically file your 2001 taxes in about seven to 10 minutes, with a refund arriving in half the time it takes for a paper return.

Taxpayers who filed a 1040EZ form last year will receive a TeleFile booklet from the IRS that invites them to file their taxes by phone. Instead of tax forms, the package has a worksheet that becomes your tax record when completed.

Instructions: To file, call the toll-free number on the booklet and have your W-2s, any 1099 forms and your Social Security number handy.

Using their own personal identification numbers, callers receive confirmation while they're still on the phone, letting them know that the TeleFile system has accepted their return.

This system has been in effect for five years and is available in all 50 states.

In 2001, 4.4 million people used the system instead of filling out a 1040EZ form, the Ohio IRS branch says.

Going smoothly: There have been no major problems with tax filings so far this year, said Chris Kerns, IRS media specialist in Cincinnati.

"The biggest issue for people this year is the new line on tax forms," Kerns said.

The new line is for the Rate Reduction Credit, which taxpayers use if they did not receive the maximum amount in their filing status for last summer's advance payment.

"This credit is the only new line on the basic tax forms. Taxpayers should read its instructions carefully so they get the proper benefits," said IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti. "Errors can delay processing, and we want everyone due a refund to get it as quickly as possible."

Taxpayers who made an error related to this credit on their returns should wait to see if the IRS catches it during processing. If the IRS does not contact them by the time they receive their refund, they may file an amended return to correct the error.

Also, anyone who filed a tax return last year can use the phone to request an extension of the filing deadline to Aug. 15.

TeleFile users and extension-seekers get a confirmation number at the end of their calls telling them their return or extension request has been accepted.

Internet: "All IRS forms and schedules are available online. They're the most efficient ways to get the forms," Kerns said.

TeleFile service is available 24 hours a day from Jan. 10 through Aug. 15.

For more information, log on to the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov.




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