IRS Offers Free E-Filing of Taxes
December 26, 2002
The Internal Revenue Service expects to announce in mid-January the names of about 78 million Americans who will be eligible for free tax preparation and Internet tax-filing.
- The timing could irritate millions of taxpayers who by then may have spent $40 for tax preparation software or $20 for Web-based preparation -- only to learn that they could have filed for free.
- In 2002, some 35 percent of taxpayers filed online -- a disappointing response from the standpoint of the IRS, which says that e-filings are cheaper to process than paper forms.
- The IRS has instructed tax preparation firms to say nothing about the free offers before its own announcement.
- The agency has four more years to reach an 80 percent e-filing rate.
Some states now allow taxpayers to file a return directly from a state Web site.
Source: Thomas A. Fogarty, "Sixty Percent of Taxpayers Will Qualify for Free E-Filings," USA Today, December 26, 2002.
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