IRS News Release  
September 30, 1991

IRS Filing Alternatives
Make Taxes Less Taxing

File by phone with TeleFile.....Print out a 1040PC answer sheet with your home computer and mail it.....Have an electronic filer zap your return to the Internal Revenue Service.....Or just send in your W-2s with a Form 1040EZ-1 and let the IRS do all the work.

The IRS is offering these alternatives to the traditional filing of tax forms in 1992.

"We're trying hard to make things easier for our taxpayers," said IRS Commissioner Fred Goldberg, in announcing these initiatives. "All of these options reduce the tax filing burden for citizens and give us more accurate returns."

TeleFile is a test limited to 1.2 million persons--those with Ohio addresses who receive a Form 1040EZ tax packages. These are single persons with income under $50,000. TeleFilers will call a toll-free number using a Touch-Tone phone and enter total wages, interest and tax withheld. They must have no changes to their tax package label, however.

"TeleFile will be simple, fast and efficient," Goldberg said. "The IRS will figure the adjusted gross income, the tax and any refund or tax due while the taxpayer is on the phone. Refunds will be sent in about three weeks and any tax due can be paid by the usual April 15th deadline."

For persons looking to avoid almost all return filing work, Form 1040EZ-1 may be the solution. With the EZ-1, a taxpayer just enters any interest income, answers three questions, attaches the W-2 forms from employers and signs the EZ-1. The IRS takes the wage and tax withholding data from the W-2s, figures the tax, then sends the taxpayer a refund or a notice of any tax due, with an explanation of how the tax was figured.

After trying this form with a small number or Texans in 1991, the IRS will expand the test to over 300,000 residents of Rhode Island, Texas and Washington. The IRS has set up information sharing procedures with Rhode Island state tax officials so that EZ-1 users there will also have an easier time filing their state tax returns.

Computer-assisted tax filing has a new twist--print out a tax return answer sheet from your home computer and mail it to the IRS. Unlike traditional forms, which may have many blank lines, the 1040 PC program generates only the line entries needed. The result is a three-column list that fits on one page.

The IRS is providing specifications to interested software developers and will test their products for acceptability. The IRS expects that several programs will be available commercially to individuals and tax preparers for the 1992 filing season. Standard computers and printers will produce the 1040PC formats.

Electronic filing, in which accepted participants send tax filing data for their clients to the IRS from their computers, will be available for balance due as well as refund returns. This enables taxpayers to file returns earlier while still making tax payments by the usual April 15th deadline. For persons getting refunds, electronic filing means a faster refund and the option of having the money deposited directly into their bank accounts. Over 7.5 million returns were filed electronically this year, and IRS expects 10 million in 1992.

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