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Indiana to stop mailing out state income tax forms

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Indiana residents won't receive their state income tax forms in the mail in 2011, but most of them probably wouldn't have filed their taxes on paper anyway, a state tax official said Wednesday.

State Department of Revenue spokeswoman Stephanie McFarland said at a news conference that the tax agency decided not to mail out the booklets because as many as two-thirds of Indiana residents now file their taxes electronically.

The number of people who file using income tax software or other electronic methods has surged in recent years. Five years ago, about one-third of Indiana's taxpayers used electronic filing, McFarland said.

She said the agency estimates the change will affect about 1 million taxpayers and save the state about $200,000 in the next fiscal year.

As for those who don't want to trust their taxes to their computer, don't worry — McFarland said the forms will still be available at public libraries and the agency's 12 district offices. They also can be downloaded and printed from the agency's website.

"There's too many other ways for people to get those," she said.

The state tax agency will send postcards announcing the change to people who it expects to file on paper, she said.

Indiana's decision to stop mailing tax forms in 2011 follows the Internal Revenue Service's announcement in September that it was no longer mailing tax forms because so many people file their federal returns online.

Eliminating mailing out tax forms is just one of a handful of changes affecting Indiana taxpayers this coming tax season.

The Department of Revenue is urging people who plan to claim tax credits to file early or electronically because the General Assembly capped those benefits in the biennial budget. For example, McFarland said, the pool for Energy Star tax credits is capped at $1 million, and once that money is gone, no more credits will be issued.

The caps also affect the state scholarship tax credit, which is limited to $2.5 million, and a teacher summer employment credit that is capped at $500,000, she said.

McFarland said filing electronically would put taxpayers in line for the credits quicker, since those returns are processed immediately and paper returns can take days.

She also warned taxpayers who file by mail to check with the post office to make sure they include their proper address on their envelope, since she said the U.S. Postal Service plans to strictly enforce standard addressing and may not deliver mail that bears the wrong address.

And taxpayers get a bit of a break this year — the deadline to file state and federal taxes is April 18 rather than April 15, because April 15 falls on a holiday in Washington.

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  • SALES TAX FORM
    Now if we can just get the state to stop requiring service businesses--that only provide services--to file an annual sales tax form for $1 in sales and to mail in a $0.07 check (because the computer wont take $0 in sales), then we may have some bureaucrats that are not totally brain dead.
  • Agreed
    This has been LONG overdue - not to mention they kept sending me the short form, when I have always filed long-form (Itemized deductions)
  • Good Decision
    Nice way to save the state some postage - the usual means to acquire the forms (library, public office, download from site) are still available. It doesn't make sense to keep mailing those out anymore.

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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).

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