For citizens who want to file their individual income tax returns or Property Tax Credit (PTC) claims as efficiently as possible, the Missouri Department of Revenue has several suggestions to improve the processing, speed and accuracy of submitted tax returns. The Department is reminding Missourians about options for those needing assistance in preparing their returns and a new debit card option for those who will be getting refunds.
Remember the two E’s — file electronically and early. Electronic filing is a secure way to avoid errors and ensure a faster refund. E-filing is a service provided by almost all tax preparers or individual citizens can purchase tax preparation software. About 74 percent of Missourians filed electronically during last year’s tax-filing season. Filing as early as possible also makes it much more likely that filers will receive their refunds quicker than those who wait to file closer to the April 15 deadline.
2-D or not 2-D; that is the question. Even Missourians choosing not to E-file can still save time and reduce errors by using 2-D barcode forms, which can then be printed out and mailed in. Missouri tax forms for Tax Year 2012 and other years are available on the Department’s website at http://dor.mo.gov/forms/. These forms include a 2-D barcode that helps speed up the processing of the forms after they are mailed to the Department. Direct deposit of a refund is also an option for those choosing to use the 2-D forms. Saving drafts of confidential tax returns would not be recommended for people using public computers, such as in a library, where computer access is open to anyone.
Revenue and others can assist you. The Department of Revenue answers many frequently asked questions about filing tax returns on the Department’s website at www.dor.mo.gov. Missourians can also call (573) 751-3505 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, or by e-mailing the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about filing tax returns.
In addition, the Department has tax assistance centers located in seven Missouri cities. The centers are in Cape Girardeau; Jefferson City; Joplin; Kansas City; St. Joseph; St. Louis; and Springfield. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Contact information and office addresses are available at http://dor.mo.gov/contact/assistance.php.
Other advocacy and non-profit groups provide assistance in the preparation of income tax returns or PTC claims for some citizens. These groups include AARP, the Area Agencies on Aging, some local senior citizen centers and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
Refund options: Paper, plastic or direct deposit. Although electronic direct deposit is the quickest and most efficient way to receive a refund, there are two other options available for taxpayers. One choice is the traditional paper check. A new option this year is a refund debit card which can be used just like other debit cards. For more details about the new refund debit cards, go to http://dor.mo.gov/faq/personal/debitcard.php.