Wisconsin Income Tax Filing Season Begins

State Revenue Secretary encourages e-filing for fast, accurate results

For Release: January 24, 2008
Contact: Jessica Iverson, Communications Officer, (608) 266-2300

MADISON – The Department of Revenue (DOR) opens Wisconsin's 2007 tax season with a friendly reminder to electronically file tax returns for faster refunds and fewer errors. The Department will still offer a variety of formats, including tax booklets available at public locations, for taxpayer ease of use.

“Last year, Wisconsin had a historic number of citizens, more than 65%, electronically file their income tax returns, benefiting from the ease of use, maximum personal security and quick refunds,” said Revenue Secretary Roger M. Ervin. “I encourage those taxpayers who haven't e-filed in the past to try it and experience the benefits.”

E-filing can produce refunds in as few as 5 business days, deposited directly to a savings or checking account. It is available through DOR's “Free-File” software, through off-the-shelf products and private vendor websites, and through professional tax preparers. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites are accessible across the state for Wisconsin residents in need of assistance with their tax returns. VITA sites also offer e-filing options.

In addition, e-filing can help taxpayers avoid taking out costly “Refund Anticipation Loans” (RAL). A RAL is a short-term loan offered by some tax preparers and other businesses, essentially charging taxpayers to borrow their own money at a very high interest rate.

It is important to remember that if a taxpayer files a paper return the time to receive a refund can be extended for as long as 8 to 12 weeks. DOR offers a centralized customer assistance call for those needing help, plus a website that provides comprehensive service for taxpayers.

While e-filing is more accurate, for those filing a paper return, DOR offers the following tips to avoid costly mistakes:

This year's paper income tax forms include a new page with recommendations that will significantly reduce the time necessary to process returns and the likelihood of errors.

Taxpayers using paper forms will also see a revision to the exemptions line that will help eliminate common computation errors.

New this year:

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) changes – Due to federal tax law changes related to the AMT, the IRS advises that the processing of some tax returns will be delayed. Taxpayers whose tax returns are not submitted successfully need to re-file on or after Monday, February 11. Again, e-filing is encouraged as it reduces errors and speeds up refunds. More information is available at www.irs.gov.

Estimated tax verification – A new online application allows individuals, corporations and tax practitioners to electronically verify the state estimated tax payments available to file current year returns. All unapplied estimated tax payments, including prior and future years, will be displayed. The application is available on the Department's website.

Tuition deduction – The maximum subtraction for tuition paid is increased from $4,536 to $4,843 per student.

New credits – Three new credits are available: Enterprise Job Zone Credit, Internet Equipment Credit and Dairy Manufacturing Facility Investment Credit.

For more information, visit www.revenue.wi.gov.

Page last updated January 24, 2008