Giving Some Credit to the Tax Folks

The Indiana Department of Revenue (IDOR), and its counterparts across the country, deal in numbers — big numbers. At the end of April, the agency released some statistics about the 2010 tax season. Here’s a few to ponder:

  • More than 140,000 phone calls to IDOR during the tax season, including an average of 1,100 a day in the first two weeks of April. (The agency touts its on-hold times decreased from over four minutes to less than three minutes per call)
  • More than 1.6 million refunds in 2010 compared to about 1.5 million a year earlier. Average refund amount: $324 this year; $279 in 2009
  • The push for more electronic returns continues — and with good reason. It costs the state about $2.3 million to process one million paper returns, but just $150,000 to process more than two million electronic returns; accuracy is 99% for electronic returns and less than 80% for paper returns; and refunds directly into taxpayers’ accounts from electronic returns are issued in an average of three days, while the paper route takes between six and 12 weeks

In the "I didn’t know that category," IDOR says about 700,000 mailed returns come in after April 15. By the end of the calendar year, the total number of returns processed will be approximately 3.1 million.

See, I told you there were some big numbers involved. And just to make sure the agency was living up to its claims, I checked and my refund did show up within a week. Hats off to the tax men and women.

Taxing Times Continue for Many

For the third year in a row, I filed my family taxes only to then receive a "replacement tax statement package" from my investment company of choice. (Yes, those investment totals continue to shrink, but who isn’t sinking in that boat).

But we’re here to discuss business taxes — with the complications there making my amended 1040 seem rather paltry. The Indiana Chamber continues to offer a variety of resources to assist companies with federal and state needs, while the Indiana Department of Revenue (IDOR) has put in place a new online tool to make it easier to conduct business with the state.

Newcomers first: IDOR’s New and Small Business Education Center provides interactive video assistance and a direct connection to INtax — where needed forms can be obtained and various types of taxes can be paid. IDOR Commissioner John Eckart offers the example of a business that is expanding and hiring new employees being able to find information about state withholding taxes.

Chamber resources come in a trio:

  • The 2009 Indiana Tax Conference on June 2-3. Participants learn the latest federal and state changes from issue experts
  • The Indiana Taxation Handbook, which includes numerous recent updates and provides comprenhensive information in an easy-to-understand manner
  • A free tax helpline (for Chamber members only), manned by Chamber tax and fiscal policy expert Bill Waltz, who can answer your questions and link you to additional resources

Don’t go it alone. Take advantage of the tax help that is available in our state.