Are You Still Filing a Paper Income Tax Return?

If you filed your 2009 income tax returns on paper, you were in the minority.

Here are the numbers for the 2010 tax filing season, courtesy of the IRS:

Nearly 99 million individuals filed their federal income tax returns electronically during 2010, a 3 percent increase in the IRS e-file rate. Of the 141.5 million returns filed so far this year, almost 70 percent were filed electronically.

In 2001, only 31% of returns were e-filed, so the popularity of this program has soared over the past decade.  And for good reason – e-filing is fast, reliable, affordable and efficient. It reduces errors and reduces the chances of an audit.

And for those of you who are still filing on paper, here’s yet another reason to get on the e-file bandwagon: taxpayers will no longer receive paper income tax packages in the mail from the IRS. These tax packages contained the forms, schedules and instructions for filing a paper income tax return.

The IRS is taking this step because of the continued growth in electronic filing and the availability of free options to taxpayers, as well as to help reduce costs. In early October, the IRS sent a postcard to individuals who filed paper returns last year and did not use a tax preparer or tax software. The information explained how to get the paper tax forms and instructions you need for filing their tax year 2010 return. The forms and instructions will be available in early January 2011 at participating libraries and post offices, as well as from IRS offices and the IRS website (

And speaking of your 2009 return . . . would you like a second opinion to see if you overlooked any deductions?  Be sure to take advantage of my free review of your prior years’ returns – it’s not too late to amend your returns from 2007, 2008 and/or 2009 and get a refund from Uncle Sam – check it out at

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