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E-file Record


Taxpayers Set e-File Record as Tax Deadline Approaches; More than 100 Million e-Filed Returns So Far This Year


IRS YouTube Video: e-File 2011: English | ASL | Spanish
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IR-2011-46, April 18, 2011

WASHINGTON — With the tax deadline arriving tonight, the Internal Revenue Service announced taxpayers set a record this weekend for e-filed tax returns, topping 100 million for the first time.

The IRS saw a late surge of e-filed returns over the weekend. By early Monday morning, the IRS had received nearly 101 million e-filed returns for the 2011 tax season, representing an 8.8 percent increase from last year. In addition, this weekend's e-file by taxpayers pushed the number above the number filed for all of calendar year 2010, when 98.7 million tax returns were e-filed.

The IRS is also approaching another milestone of one billion tax returns filed electronically since the e-file program went national in 1990.

For those still needing to file, the IRS reminds taxpayers that e-file and Free File remain available – both through tonight and for those filing with a six-month extension.

The IRS also reminds taxpayers they can request an extension to file by submitting Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to the IRS by April 18, 2011. The extension allows additional time to file but not to pay. Taxpayers who owe should submit a payment with Form 4868.

All taxpayers can use Free File to submit an extension. Taxpayers also can e-file an extension request using tax preparation software with their own computer or by going to a tax preparer who has the software. The IRS will acknowledge receipt of the extension request if you file by computer.

Inside This Issue

One Billion Served: IRS E-File Passes Major Milestone

WASHINGTON — IRS e-file has reached a major milestone as it passed the one billion mark for individual tax returns processed safely and securely since 1986.

The Internal Revenue Service’s electronic filing program started as a pilot project in 1986 and became available nationally in 1990. Prior to the April 18 deadline, IRS e-file passed another high point as more than 100 million 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 program means a more efficient government that has saved America’s taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.”

IRS e-file is an electronic transmission system that sends tax returns to IRS processing centers. 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 program offered through IRS.gov.

Congress originally set an 80 percent goal for the electronic filing of federal tax and information returns back in 1998. E-file is now very close to that mark. Currently, more than 79 percent 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 10 or more tax returns to use e-file. IRS e-file has been steadily growing, but 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 goal of 80 percent e-file rate for individual tax returns.

For more on e-file see FS-2011-10.



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