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A Publication Featuring The Information Services Technology of Maine State Government
State Tax Assessor Tony Neves recently announced the FAST FILE program for electronic filing of Maine income tax returns. FAST FILE includes three different electronic options for filing returns. Over 90% of Maine taxpayers qualify for electronic filing. For details on who cannot FAST FILE read the short or long form income tax booklet of visit Maine Revenue Services Web site.
Many Mainers have already taken advantage of the paperless FAST FILE electronic filing programs. As of February 20 21,776 returns have been filed using the telephone, 36,021 returns have been filed through tax preparers (or using purchased computer software) and 7,635 returns have been filed using the Internet.
Maine offers free Internet filing through the Maine Revenue Services Web site (www.state.me.us/revenue). The Internet application interviews the filer to collect financial information to prepare the return. After all tax data has been collected, a trial version of the return is displayed for the filer to approve. Changes can be made to the return or the filer can accept the information as presented. If you do not have all the information at your finger tips when preparing the return online you can stop and restart the tax return at a future date. When all changes are finished the tax return is submitted to Maine Revenue Services. A facsimile of the final tax return can also be printed for your permanent records.
Filers may also submit their Maine income tax return using a touch-tone phone. The average return takes about 12 minutes to file over the telephone. Details about tele-file are contained in the Maine 1040 short form tax booklet.
People who prefer to have a professional prepare their return can ask to have their return electronically transmitted to the State of Maine. Many tax professionals in the State Of Maine offer this service. Alternatively, some computer software that can be purchased from local stores supports electronic filing of the Maine return. Not all software supports preparation of the Maine income tax return, so be careful and read the fine print.
All of these FAST FILE options are quicker and more accurate than filing the standard paper form. Because of the speed and accuracy of electronic filing, refunds arrive faster, particularly if direct deposit is used. To make the FAST FILE process totally paperless filers should use the Electronic Customer Number (ECN) that Maine Revenue Service sent to them. ECN numbers were printed on the tax returns next to the social security numbers or sent out in a letter. Even if you did not receive an ECN number you can electronically file, although you will have to send in copies of your W-2s to Maine Revenue Services with a form 1040-EL. People who owe money can even pay their taxes electronically. Just like directly depositing refund checks, filers can request that their tax payment be directly transferred from their checking or savings account to the State Of Maine without writing a check.