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Department of Revenue offers tips as income tax filing deadline approaches

The April 15 filing deadline is less than a couple weeks away, so the Minnesota Department of Revenue is offering helpful tips for taxpayers when filing their income taxes.

The department encourages individual taxpayers to electronically file (e-file) their tax returns to ensure accuracy and a faster refund.

"Electronic filing is the best way to reduce errors in your return," said Assistant Commissioner Terri Steenblock. "People that choose to e-file receive refunds much faster than those who paper file. And if you choose direct deposit, it can speed up your refund even more."

Tips to avoid common errors:

Enter your name and any dependents names as they appear on Social Security cards. Incorrect names or Social Security numbers can result in refund delays.

Double-check bank routing and account numbers used on tax forms. Incorrect account numbers can delay your refund.

Complete each form and carry totals to the correct lines. If you electronically file, the calculations are done for you.

If you are paper filing with a new address, be sure to place an X in the "Place an X if a New Address" box in the header. Otherwise, the new address may not be picked up by our system, and a refund check or letter may not get to you.

If you move after filing, contact the Department of Revenue right away. That way anything sent to you will reach you, such as refund checks or requests for more information. You should do this even when requesting a direct deposit.

You should file the return by the April 15, 2013 due date, even if you owe more than you can pay. Pay as much as you can by the due date, and continue to make payments until you are contacted by Department of Revenue Collections. At that point, they can help you set up a payment plan for the remaining balance.

More than 250 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites remain open across the state. To find out if you qualify or to find a site near you, go the