April 6, 2011
Deadline to File Taxes Extended to April 18; Tax Tips Noted by Dept. of Revenue Director
JEFFERSON CITY - Missourians will have three more days to file their state tax returns this year, and the director of the Missouri Department of Revenue has advice for people who have not yet filed their returns.
The state's traditional filing deadline of April 15 is extended for three days this year. The new deadline will be Monday, April 18, to be consistent with the deadline change for filing federal tax returns.
The District of Columbia, where the federal Internal Revenue Service is headquartered, celebrates Emancipation Day on April 16. Emancipation Day notes the day in 1862 that President Abraham Lincoln freed more than 3,000 slaves in the District. Since April 16 falls on a Saturday this year, the public holiday will be observed on Friday, April 15, and the tax deadline for federal returns was extended to the next possible weekday, Monday, April 18. The Missouri Department of Revenue opted to extend the state tax deadline to April 18 to make both deadlines consistent.
"Even though there are three extra days to file, people may not want to wait until the last minute to complete their returns," said Alana M. Barragán-Scott, director of the Department of Revenue. "This is especially true for people expecting income tax refunds. Generally, the earlier you file the quicker you will receive your refund."
For those Missourians who choose to wait until the weekend before April 18 to complete their returns, Barragán-Scott said they should be aware of the new deadline.
"Electronic returns will need to be sent to us before April 18 ends," she said. "If people are planning to mail their returns, the envelope containing the return will need to be postmarked no later than April 18. Not as many post offices stay open in the evening to accept tax returns as compared to the past, so check with your local post office if you think you'll need to mail a return late on the 18th."
The director also noted the benefits of filing tax returns electronically.
"If possible, I urge people to file electronically," she said. "This method is more convenient, it reduces the chance for errors, and refunds are returned more quickly to taxpayers."
Many taxpayer questions can be answered at the Department's website at www.dor.mo.gov. Citizens with specific questions about individual income tax returns may call (573) 751-3505 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays or e-mail the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department also 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. Citizens who have questions about their tax returns can call or visit the centers, and staff at the centers can also help prepare Missouri returns. Contact information and office addresses are available at http://dor.mo.gov/contact/assistance.php.
Missouri tax forms for Tax Year 2010 and other years are available on the Department's website at http://dor.mo.gov/forms/. All the forms and instructions for the forms can be printed on demand directly from the website. Some of the forms can also be filled out on the computer and then printed out and mailed to the Department of Revenue. These forms print with a 2-D barcode that helps speed up processing. The Department's individual income tax forms and the Property Tax Credit forms for this filing season now also allow taxpayers the option of having their refunds directly deposited into their bank accounts.
A toll-free, automated phone number to order forms is 1-800-877-6881. The Department also has a Forms-by-Fax System available by calling (573) 751-4800. Calls to the Forms-by-Fax System must be made from phones connected to fax service.
The Missouri Department of Revenue is now on Twitter! To follow the Department on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/MoRevenue.