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Why The IRS Should Pay You $3 to Efile

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My friend Kay at Don’t Mess With Taxes looked through some information provided by the Government Accountability Office and discovered that the IRS estimated it saved $3.10 per e-filed return. The information is on page one of the report by the GAO in the footnote.

It’s estimated that, in 2009, it cost $3.29 to process a paper return compared to only nineteen cents for an electronic return. It should surprise no one that processing a paper return is more expensive but even I didn’t expect it to be over seventeen times more expensive. This is an improvement over 2008, when it cost $2.87 to process a paper return and 35 cents to process an electronic one.

So it’s kind of funny that it costs money to e-file. :)

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7 Responses to “Why The IRS Should Pay You $3 to Efile”

  1. Texas Wahoo says:

    Where does it cost money to e-file? Most of the free services, such as tax act, don’t charge to e-file.

    • cubiclegeoff says:

      It costs the IRS to process it.

      • David S says:

        From the post it seems to be that the IRS is charging you to e-file, which is incorrect you can even fill out all the forms at the IRS website and submit them there. Anyone charging to e-file is solely doing it for their profit.

  2. David M says:

    I am totally surprised that it is only 17 times more expensive to process a paper return.

    That information needs to be typed in or at least the errors that occur based on scanning of the information needs to be corrected. People are expensive compared to machines!

  3. govenar says:

    The IRS isn’t charging people to e-file; it’s companies like Intuit (TurboTax) who are charging. Kinda like how you can fill out the tax forms yourself for free, but TurboTax charges to do it for you. I’d prefer to not pay for anything, but if the company saves you time, it makes sense to charge for it.

  4. Donald says:

    In my state H&R Block’s efiling is free for both state and federal returns. It is faster than filling out paperwork and more accurate than doing it myself. Also saves on postage.
    (Maybe the IRS should send some of the $3 savings to the US Post Office!) However, I’m glad that I have always, up to this year, done the paperwork myself so that I have a better understanding of the whole process.

    • angela says:

      I live in georgia and H&R block is charging 4.00 per return as an irs fee on top of their outrageous fees.


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