Wisconsin Launches Income Tax Filing Season

Revenue Secretary announces new e-file options, taxpayer assistance efforts

Friday, January 16, 2009
Contact: Jessica Iverson, 608-266-2300,

MADISON – The Department of Revenue (DOR) opens Wisconsin 's individual income tax season today with the launch of a new e-file product and expanded taxpayer assistance efforts.

"More than two-thirds of Wisconsin citizens know firsthand the benefits of electronic filing – maximum security, quick refunds, fewer errors.", said Revenue Secretary Roger M. Ervin. "Our new e-filing option, Wisconsin e-file, is one of many initiatives we have undertaken to improve service, ensure taxpayer access to online tools, and make filing tax returns as simple as possible."

Wisconsin e-file is a new, free way to electronically file income tax returns. Most taxpayers can use the interactive fill-in forms, available on the Department's website on Monday, January 19. Wisconsin e-file will make calculations, determine appropriate tax and deductions, and check for errors. Following a safe and secure submittal to the Department, taxpayers receive confirmation of receipt. The fill-in forms are similar to those launched this year by the Internal Revenue Service.

Wisconsin e-file, like other e-file options, provides refunds in as few as five business days, deposited directly to a savings or checking account. Those who file on paper can expect to wait eight to twelve weeks for a refund check. E-filing can also help taxpayers avoid Refund Anticipation Loans, short-term loans that essentially charge people to borrow their own money at a high interest rate.

Taxpayers can also access e-filing at more than 200 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites across the state. VITA and TCE offer tax preparation services to citizens for whom paid tax preparation may be out of reach. DOR, in partnership with other organizations, supports several VITA and TCE sites.

DOR also announced a cooperative effort with public libraries across the state to reduce the number of paper tax forms and booklets printed for their locations and to promote area VITA and TCE sites to library patrons. Department staff will offer assistance for income tax returns and Homestead Credit claims at some library branches throughout the tax filing season.

Other changes this year include mailing tax booklets only to taxpayers who used the mailed paper form last year and discontinuing TeleFile, a program that allowed returns to be filed by telephone. TeleFile use has declined steadily in recent years and its users may file free using Wisconsin e-file. The mailing reduction will create efficiencies and cost savings – if needed, forms are available on the DOR website, at DOR office locations and at libraries.

While the focus this time of year is on individual income tax, the Department also announced a new online tool to make it easier to do business in the state. My Tax Account, launching in February on the Department's website, allows businesses to file returns and make payments for state business taxes and update account information. Businesses may also allow account access to their tax preparers or other representatives.

To access Wisconsin e-file and My Tax Account, check on refunds, and get tax assistance, visit www.revenue.wi.gov. A redesign of the site's homepage makes it easier to find information.

We want Wisconsin taxpayers to receive their refunds as quickly as possible and to have access to free tax filing and self-service tools," said Secretary Ervin. "Never has it been more important for us to seek efficiencies in tax processing, to introduce better e-file options and to provide taxpayers the assistance they need to file."

For more information:

Page last updated January 16, 2009