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IRS Launches Paperless Processing Initiative, FS-2023-18

Taxpayers, by the 2024 filing season, will be able to digitally submit all correspondence, non-tax forms, and notice responses electronically to the Internal Revenue Service, the agency announced.

Additionally,“by Filing Season 2025, the IRS is committing to digitally process 100 percent of tax and information returns that are submitted by paper, as well as half of all paper correspondence, non-tax forms, and notice responses,”Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said August 2, 2023. “It will also digitalize historical documents that are currently in storage at the IRS.”

Taxpayers will still have the option of mailing in paper-based correspondence.

Yellen cited the supplemental funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act to the IRS for giving the agency the ability to transition from “a paper-based agency” to a “digital-first agency.”

“This ‘PaperlessProcessing initiative is the key that unlocks other customer service improvements,” Yellen said. “It will enable taxpayers to see their documents, securely access their data, and save time and money. And it will allow other parts of the IRS to rely on these digital copies to provide faster refunds, reduce errors in tax processing, and delivery a more seamless and responsive customer service experience.”

According to a fact sheet issued by the IRS, the agency estimates that “more than 94 percent of individual taxpayers will no longer ever need to send mail to the IRS,” and will enable up to 152 million paper documents to be submitted digitally per year.

Additionally, taxpayers will be able to e-file 20 additional tax forms, enabling up to 4 million additional tax forms to be filed digitally each year, including amendments to Forms 940, 941, 941SSPR.

“At least 20 of the most used non-tax forms will be available in digital, mobile-friendly formats that make them easy for taxpayers to complete and submit,” the fact sheet continues. “These forms will include a Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance, making it easier for taxpayers to get the help they need.”

The fact sheet also outlines some more targets for the 2025 filing season, including:

“When combined with an improved data platform, digitization and data extraction will enable data scientists to implement advanced analytics and pattern recognition methods to pursue cases that can help address the tax [gap], including wealthy individuals and large corporations using complex structures to evade taxes they owe,” the fact sheet states.

By Gregory Twachtman, Washington News Editor

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