The electronic filing programme of the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reached a major milestone as it passed the one billion mark for individual tax returns processed.
IRS e-file started as a pilot project in 1986 and became available nationally in 1990. Prior to the April 18 deadline, it also passed another record as more than 100m individual tax returns were e-filed during the 2011 filing season.
“IRS e-file is a good deal for taxpayers,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “The one billion milestone means e-file has delivered real services to taxpayers, including faster refunds and more accurate tax returns. And because an e-file return costs us 20 times less to process than a paper return, this programme means a more efficient government that has saved America’s taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.”
IRS e-file system sends tax returns to IRS processing centres. Taxpayers can e-file through their tax preparers, through commercial software they use to prepare their own returns or through Free File, the free tax software and e-file programme offered through the IRS website.
Congress originally set an 80% target for the electronic filing of federal tax and information returns back in 1998. It has been disclosed that e-file is now very close to that goal as, currently, more than 79% of taxpayers have used e-file to submit their tax returns so far this year.
In 2009, Congress passed another provision requiring tax preparers who file ten or more tax returns to use e-file. The new law, which the IRS is phasing in, brought a surge of e-filed returns for 2011. For this year, tax preparers who filed 100 or more returns were required to e-file.
For 2012, tax preparers who file 11 or more returns will be required to e-file. The requirement should put the IRS within reach of its objective of 80% e-file rate for individual tax returns.
Source: Mike Godrefy, Tax-News.com
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