Posted: APRIL 05 2012

Fong Offers Tips to Taxpayers

Bismarck, N.D. – As taxpayers work to prepare their income tax return, Tax Commissioner Cory Fong today offered filing tips to help taxpayers avoid a few common errors. 

“There are some simple steps that taxpayers can take to avoid a few of the common errors we find on income tax returns,” said Fong.  “Most of these errors are found on paper filed returns.”

1.      Double-check your entries.  This includes checking to be sure that all W-2 information is entered correctly, social security numbers are right, and that the math calculations are accurate.  Errors slow down the processing and could cause delays in receiving a refund.

2.      Paper filers need to attach a copy of their federal return.  This includes all W-2s, 1099’s or other forms showing North Dakota withholding.

“One of the most common errors taxpayers make is forgetting to attach a copy of their federal return and other supporting documents,” said Fong. 

If a return does not include a copy of the federal return, the Tax Department will consider it an incomplete return and will send it back to the taxpayer.  This could result in late charges if the return is received back by the Tax Department after the due date.

3.      Remember to sign the return.  An unsigned return is considered an incomplete return and will be sent back to the taxpayer.  And, if it is a joint return, both spouses must sign the return.

4.      Paper filers need to be sure they mail the paper return to the correct agency.  Each year a number of taxpayers mail their North Dakota return to the wrong agency.  Taxpayers can find the Tax Department’s mailing address on the form. 

“These errors can be easily avoided if the taxpayer uses e-file,” said Fong.  “E-file reduces the chance for math errors, it automatically includes the taxpayers’ signature, and it sends the return to the correct agency.”

5.      Taxpayers should check their return to be sure they provide their correct mailing address on the return.  Each year refund checks with incomplete or invalid addresses come back to the Tax Department as undeliverable.

“Taxpayers can avoid refund delays by using Direct Deposit,” said Fong.  “For over a decade taxpayers have been using e-file and direct deposit.  Taxpayers using these electronic services have found them to be fast, easy, and safe.”

For more information about e-file and free e-file, visit the Tax Department’s web site at or connect with the Tax Department on Facebook and YouTube.

Additional Tax Tip Messages on YouTube

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