Many Minnesotans have yet to file income taxesby Sunny Thao, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — If you haven't filed your income taxes yet, you're not alone. Even with the deadline a mere day away, hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans have yet to file their taxes.
Officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Minnesota Department of Revenue expect about 2.6 million tax returns by April 15, the deadline for filing. As of April 2, 62 percent of Minnesotans had filed their returns.
But, officials said that nearly 700,000 people don't file their taxes until the last minute.
"There's no one reason for why people wait," said Carrie Resch, the Minnesota spokesperson from the IRS. "If people owe money, they'll put it off. Some may be procrastinators by nature and others may be waiting for more tax documents to finish filing."
Resch said that one way to make the filing process easier and faster was by using the e-file, an online version of paper returns that allows people to file their taxes electronically.
People who e-file their taxes obtain their refunds faster than people who use paper and for people who wait. Nearly 80 percent of people who file electronically obtain their refunds within 10 days.
Traditional paper filing, on the other hand, could take six to eight weeks, a process that may take longer if there are errors.
"We tend to see more paper returns once the deadline approaches," said Lisa Waldrup, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Revenue. "These usually take a long time to process, especially if they have mistakes on them."
E-filing federal tax returns is free regardless of a person's income, though state returns may not be free for everyone.
Free e-filing typically requires for a person to have an income of less than $57,000. But, qualifications vary depending on the type of software people use to do their taxes. Costs also vary for people who are ineligible for free filing.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue's Web site lists the qualifications for free e-filing.
This year, 85 percent of filed federal returns were completed electronically, compared to 75 percent in 2009. About 84 percent of state returns were done through e-filing.