By Governor Dave Heineman
As we begin to think about our final accounting for tax year 2010, I want to encourage every Nebraskan to consider filing their individual income taxes electronically. E-filing is a convenient and secure way to file state and federal taxes.
E-filing allows taxpayers to submit both their federal and state tax returns together. Taxpayers can go online, purchase software or visit a participating tax preparer to file their returns using the Fed/State e-file program. Some software providers allow free federal e-filing, but may charge a fee for state e-filing. Visit www.irs.gov for more information.
NebFile allows taxpayers to file their Nebraska individual income tax return online for free with the Nebraska Department of Revenue at www.revenue.ne.gov. Nebraskans have embraced e-filing at much higher rates than most taxpayers across the country.
In 2008, approximately 62 percent of tax returns were filed electronically. The following year Nebraska achieved 70 percent and last year we set a new all-time Our goal this year is to achieve an e-filing rate of 85 percent. We are off to a good start. Of the 160,000 state income tax returns filed so far this year, 99 percent have been e-filed.
In addition to being quicker and more efficient, filing online reduces the risk of errors, provides confirmation that a return has been received and allows tax refunds to be received much sooner. Those taxpayers entitled to a refund who e-file and choose to have their refund returned via direct deposit typically receive their refund in seven to 10 business days.
The ability to file and pay taxes online is another way our state is providing the services Nebraskans want, while also helping ensure greater efficiency in government.
The ability to file and pay taxes online is one of the many ways our state is striving to provide services that make it easier for Nebraskans to interact with state government. The switch to e-filing has reduced the number of temporary workers at the Department of Revenue. For the first time, no seasonal employees were hired this year, compared to the approximately 150 temporary workers that used to be hired before e-filing became an option.
Our progress is due in part to the cooperation of the professional tax preparation community who have embraced the speed and convenience of e-filing, along with the partnership of the individuals and families who converted to this faster, more convenient option in the last several years.
Whether working in the tax return processing section of the department, or another division within the department, at tax time every Revenue employee in Lincoln, including Tax Commissioner Doug Ewald, pitches in to help process paper returns. Every single taxpayer choosing to file online saves the staff time needed to open envelopes, remove extra staples or paper clips and review the enclosed documents to ensure everything is in order before each tax return can be processed.
Please visit the Nebraska Department of Revenue website for information on new developments, and other electronic options available to taxpayers at www.revenue.ne.gov.
Your support of e-filing is greatly appreciated.