September 08, 1993
Telephone Filing in 7 States
WASHINGTON - Taxpayers in seven states next year will be able
to file their federal tax returns by telephone. The Internal
Revenue Service will expand TeleFile -- its file-by-phone system --
to Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, South Carolina, and West
This easier filing option will continue to be available to
taxpayers in Ohio where the IRS tested the system for two years.
In the first year, Ohioans filed 126,000 returns by phone, with the
number growing to 149,000 this year.
Taxpayers can reach TeleFile seven days a week, 24 hours a day,
by dialing a toll-free number. Callers just enter the amounts for
their wages, interest and tax withheld. TeleFile does the rest of
the work for them in just seconds. If totals the income, subtracts
the exemption and standard deduction amounts, gets the tax from the
tax table and figures any refund or balance due.
The system gives the caller the adjusted gross income and
refund or balance due amounts, as well as a confirmation number to
complete the filing. The whole call takes about five minutes.
The IRS processes the data through its electronic filing
system, giving users such benefits as faster refunds and more
accurate tax returns. TeleFilers should get their refunds in three
weeks, quicker than the usual four to six weeks for regular returns.
Unlike electronic filing, TeleFile does not offer direct deposit for
refunds. Persons who owe tax can send the payment immediately or
anytime before the April 15 deadline.
An IRS survey last year found that very few TeleFilers would
have used a paid preparer or filed electronically. Through
TeleFile, the IRS is opening alternative filing options to taxpayers
who would otherwise remain bound to the traditional paper tax forms.
TeleFile is available to single persons who would otherwise
file Form 1040EZ and have not changed their addresses since their
last filing. The IRS will send 4.7 million special tax packages to
prospective filers and expects to get 550,000 TeleFile returns.
Only persons receiving such packages can use TeleFile.
The IRS plans to continue its TeleFile test of the paperless
"voice signature" method in southern Ohio next year. Elsewhere,
TeleFilers will send signature documents -- Forms 1040-TEL -- and
their W-2 forms to the IRS after they complete their calls.
TeleFile's future expansion depends on its integration with the
ongoing IRS implementation of Tax Systems Modernization.
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