MONTREAL — Select Quebecers will be able to file their fiscal 2002 provincial tax returns online without costly commercial software as part of a pilot project by Revenue Quebec.

Believed to be a first in Canada, between 600,000 and 700,000 singles without dependents will be eligible to file

their provincial returns online. The forms will be available in February on the Revenue Quebec Web site. Quebec is the only province that collects its own provincial taxes.

If successful, the online service will be available to all Quebec taxpayers. Last spring, about 1.3 million out of a total of 5.6 million Quebec returns were filed via the Internet. Of those, 900,000 were prepared by tax specialists.

One of the advantages when filing online using PDF dynamic forms is that if an individual is unsure how to fill out a particular section, they simply click on a box and thanks to JavaScript, up pops an explanation, said François Garon, manager of the electronic forms division for Revenue Quebec.

If the return is not completed correctly or information has been left out such as a postal code, a pop-up box will also alert the filer, Garon explained at a recent conference here called Digital Document Directions by Xplor Canada.

“”Some other advantages are that you don’t have to go to a government office to obtain a form, the form is fairly easy to complete and electronic filing tends to eliminate a lot of common mistakes,”” said Garon.

“”It’s also easier to update forms for people who have to file monthly instalments since most of the information has already been completed.””

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