Missouri, Illinois Departments of Revenue encourage taxpayers to Go Green, file taxes electronically

 Missouri, Illinois Departments of Revenue encourage taxpayers to Go Green, file taxes electronically ST. LOUIS – In the final week of tax season, the Illinois and Missouri Departments of Revenue are urging taxpayers to take advantage of electronic filing options as a green alternative to paper filing. When taxpayers file their taxes electronically, the Revenue Departments see a reduction in paper use throughout the tax process; from the printing of fewer tax booklets to receiving fewer forms in the mail from taxpayers. By saving paper, taxpayers help reduce the amount of trash going into landfills, and also reduce energy use and pollution associated with manufacturing, transporting, and recycling new paper products.

To help illustrate this point, if the 3 million electronic IL-1040s and the 1.6 million Missouri 1040 state income tax returns that each Department will receive this year were stacked one on top of each other, they would reach a height of over 150 feet above the St. Louis Arch. Additionally, if these electronic 1040s were paper 1040s and put end to end they would start in San Francisco, California and end up in Key West, Florida.

“We want Missourians who are owed refunds to get those refunds as quickly as possible and filing electronically will not only help them receive their refund faster, it will reduce paper which is more efficient and better for our environment,” said Gov. Matt Blunt. “Electronic filing have continued to gain momentum each year of my administration, which allows us to provide better service to the taxpayer and equally important, be responsible stewards of our environment.”

“This year we have identified yet another reason Illinois taxpayers should take advantage of filing their Illinois taxes electronically. It cuts down on a mountain of paper,” said Director Hamer. “For those last-minute filers who have yet to file – we encourage you to go green and file electronically.”

“The Department recognizes the benefits of electronic filing and how this lessens the impact on our environment through fewer paper products used,” said Jim Brentlinger, Tax Administrator for the Missouri Department of Revenue. “Additionally, electronic filing benefits the taxpayer through faster processing time which translates into receiving their refund quicker. The Department continues to pursue ways to use electronic means of communication as opposed to paper products.”

The Illinois Department of Revenue has enjoyed a consistent increase in electronic filers since the program began in 1991 and projects to have more than half of all filers filing electronically this year. So far this year, more than 2 million returns have been filed electronically which is a 15 percent increase over this time last year. Over 1.1 million taxpayers have taken advantage of the direct deposit option, an increase of over 19 percent from this time last year.

Over the past three years the Missouri Department of Revenue has made significant improvements in providing better customer service and at the same time being accountable to our environmental surroundings. Electronic Filing has helped move us in that direction. In 2004 our Department processed 2.6 million returns with 1.1 million of those being filed electronic. In 2008 we are projecting 2.9 million returns will be processed with 1.7 million being filed electronically. This represents a 15 percent growth but more importantly, represents a reduction of over 5 million less pieces of paper going into a landfill somewhere.

“Do the ‘green thing’ and file your tax return electronically. The Planet will thank you and it’s fast, easy and accurate,” said Pedro, Head Honcho of Pedro’s Planet, a St. Louis green office supply company.

“Electronic filing is the fastest, easiest and most accurate way to file a tax return,” said IRS spokesman Michael Devine. “You can e-file through a tax preparer, on your home computer, or if you made less than $54,000 last year, you can “Free File” on the IRS web site, www.IRS.gov. When you e-file, your returns are processed faster than paper returns and if you choose direct deposit, you’ll get your Economic Stimulus Payment by the middle of May.”

Nearly all Illinois taxpayers can file for free on the Illinois Department’s web site at www.tax.illinois.gov and Missouri taxpayers can visit http://dor.mo.gov/ to file electronically.