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E-filing would speed up getting refund back, commission says

If 4,160 Utahns had electronically filed their state income tax returns, they would have a total of $1.7 million in refunds sitting in their bank accounts right now, according to the Utah State Tax Commission.

Instead, those mailed returns are sitting in the Tax Commission's "error file," waiting for problems to be resolved, said commission spokeswoman Janice Perry Gully, noting "e-filing software would have avoided most of those errors."

The mistakes that cause returns to be pulled from processing and dumped into the error file are usually not major problems, Gully said. They can be as minor as forgetting to sign the return, making errors in tax calculations, making a mistake in writing Social Security numbers, neglecting to submit all W-2 forms claimed in withholding or not putting a code number next to a claimed tax credit.

Gully said that in addition to helping avoid such errors, e-filing speeds the sending out of refunds because it bypasses all of the manual processing steps and allows direct deposit into bank or credit union accounts. To check on the status of a state tax refund, get a copy of your return and call 297-2200 or toll-free 1-800-662-4335. An automated system will tell you if your return has been received, whether a check has been issued or if a refund has been delayed due to an error on return.

For state and federal income tax forms and information, visit Web site www.utahtax.com.