Like the federal government and the governments of numerous other states, New Jersey, the Garden State and home of notables ranging from Thomas Edison to Bruce Springsteen, has recently embraced Information Age technology with a vengeance.
According to the state's tax men and tax women, electronic filing of New Jersey state income tax returns generates a laundry list of benefits that include "automatic calculation of the return which reduces possible errors; scheduled payments up to the due date; and confirmation of the filing.
"Not only are these methods convenient," the state's Division of Revenue propaganda agents say, "but you'll also get your refund faster when you file electronically." (They fail to mention, however, that if the shoe happens to pinch on the other foot, they'll get your payment to them faster when you file electronically.
In case all the above cited advantages of filing electronically haven't convinced you Jerseyites that you should file by computer, we should probably mention that you don't have a choice. The only people exempt from New Jersey's electronic filing requirements are people filing "nonresident, part-year resident, amended, prior-year, and fiduciary returns."
And, of course, Tony Soprano and all his family members who are presumably, New Jersey being New Jersey, exempt from having to file any state income tax returns at all.
New Jersey offers two do-it-yourself ways to file your state income tax return electronically: NJWebFile and NJE-File. NJWebFile is a free online tax preparation application that enables you to prepare and submit your tax return using nothing but your web browser. If you opt for NJE-File method, you can prepare and submit your returns using one of 12 software packages currently approved by the state Revenue Department.
You can also use the services of a professional account or tax preparation service and have them electronically file the return for you from their computer.
Though New Jersey's electronic filing programs will only let you file current year returns , they reasonably flexible in that they allow to file regardless of whether you are expecting a refund, have a balance due, or have a zeroed out balance. The program accepts not only the individual income tax return, the NJ-1040, but also the Tenant Rebate and most forms and schedules that may be required.