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2013 income tax filing begins

The state income tax filing season recently began. The Minnesota Department of Revenue will now accept individual income tax returns for tax year 2013. Taxpayers will have until April to file their tax returns.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue encourages taxpayers to electronically file (e-file) their return. "Taxpayers will receive their tax refunds much faster by electronically filing and receiving their refund by direct deposit," said Terri Steenblock, assistant commissioner for individual taxes. "E-filing can also help reduce errors, which can lead to a bigger refund."

Here are some facts about filing:

--Ninety percent of e-filed returns received before April 15 are processed within seven days.

--Paper returns received before April 15 can take 30 days or longer to process.

--Paper returns tend to have more errors than returns filed electronically.

--Requesting direct deposit for a refund reduces the time it takes to receive the refund.

Last year, more than 2.2 million returns (82 percent) were filed electronically, up 2 percent from 2011.

Other tax filing tips include:

--Make payments electronically to control when the money is transferred.

--The department no longer mails Form M1 tax booklets.

--Understand the options.

This is the last year the department will mail out paper check refunds. Beginning in 2014, taxpayers can elect for direct deposit or debit cards will be mailed to taxpayers in place of paper refunds.