IRS aims to go paperless by 2025 as part of its campaign to conquer mountains of paperwork

The IRS is going paperless to reduce the exorbitant load of paperwork that has plagued the agency.

Associated Press

Aug 3, 2023, 10:28 AM

Updated 292 days ago

Share:

Most taxpayers will be able to digitally submit a slew of tax documents and other communications to the IRS next filing season as the agency aims to go completely paperless by 2025.
The effort to reduce the exorbitant load of paperwork that has plagued the agency — dubbed the “paperless processing initiative” — was announced Wednesday by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel.
The effort is being financed through an $80 billion infusion of cash for the IRS over 10 years under the Inflation Reduction Act passed into law last August, although some of that money already is being cut back.
“Thanks to the IRA, we are in the process of transforming the IRS into a digital-first agency,” Yellen said during a visit to an IRS paper processing facility in McLean, Virginia.
“By the next filing season," she said, “taxpayers will be able to digitally submit all correspondence, non-tax forms, and notice responses to the IRS.”
“Of course, taxpayers will always have the choice to submit documents by paper,” she added.
Under the initiative, most people will be able to submit everything but their tax returns digitally in 2024. And as the IRS pilots its new electronic free file tax return system starting in 2024, the agency will be able to process everything, including tax returns, digitally by 2025.
The processing change is expected to cut back on the $40 million per year that the agency spends storing more than 1 billion historical documents. The federal tax administrator receives more than 200 million paper tax returns, forms, and pieces of mail and non-tax forms annually, according to the IRS.
Roughly 213.4 million returns and other forms were filed electronically in fiscal year 2022, which represents 81.2 percent of all filings, according to IRS data.
Coupled with decades of underfunding, an overload of paper documents has prevented the agency from processing tax forms at a faster pace in years past, agency leaders have said. The new initiative should allow the agency to expedite refunds by several weeks, according to the IRS.
In June, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins said the IRS cut its backlog of unprocessed paper tax returns by 80%, from 13.3 million returns at the end of the 2022 filing season to 2.6 million at the end of the 2023 filing season.
The federal tax collector's funding is still vulnerable to cutbacks. House Republicans built a $1.4 billion reduction to the IRS into the debt ceiling and budget cuts package passed by Congress this summer.
The White House said the debt deal also has a separate agreement to take $20 billion from the IRS over the next two years and divert that money to other non-defense programs.


More from News 12
Police: Moped strikes pedestrian on Grand Concourse

Police: Moped strikes pedestrian on Grand Concourse

2:05
Summer-like heat to reach New York City by this weekend

Summer-like heat to reach New York City by this weekend

0:14
Search on for missing 80-year-old last seen on Melrose Avenue on Monday

Search on for missing 80-year-old last seen on Melrose Avenue on Monday

1:46
FDNY: Commercial strip fire extinguished in Wakefield; 4 firefighters with minor injuries

FDNY: Commercial strip fire extinguished in Wakefield; 4 firefighters with minor injuries

1:05
Nurse practitioner offers tips to decrease high blood pressure during High Blood Pressure Education Month

Nurse practitioner offers tips to decrease high blood pressure during High Blood Pressure Education Month

1:49
Photographer and resident at RiverSpring Living highlights essential workers in new exhibit

Photographer and resident at RiverSpring Living highlights essential workers in new exhibit

0:34
NYPD: 13-year-old grazed by bullet in Claremont Village

NYPD: 13-year-old grazed by bullet in Claremont Village

Power & Politics: Ask Mayor Eric Adams

Power & Politics: Ask Mayor Eric Adams

2:23
NYPD: Man caught on camera stealing $1,000 from convenience store register in Concourse Village

NYPD: Man caught on camera stealing $1,000 from convenience store register in Concourse Village

1:36
Allerton man gives back with community fridge, turns to community for help

Allerton man gives back with community fridge, turns to community for help

0:38
Elected officials, advocates rally to restore funding for community composting programs

Elected officials, advocates rally to restore funding for community composting programs

1:55
Supporters, opponents await Trump's campaign stop in the Bronx

Supporters, opponents await Trump's campaign stop in the Bronx

2:02
Parkchester woman reaches out for help finding lost family heirloom

Parkchester woman reaches out for help finding lost family heirloom

1:05
Showing respect: Volunteers prepare Woodlawn Cemetery for Memorial Day

Showing respect: Volunteers prepare Woodlawn Cemetery for Memorial Day

1:10
Police: 1 man dead, another injured in Edenwald double shooting

Police: 1 man dead, another injured in Edenwald double shooting

1:46
Susan Sarandon, public advocate work in Dumbo restaurant to shine light on ‘One Fair Wage’ mission

Susan Sarandon, public advocate work in Dumbo restaurant to shine light on ‘One Fair Wage’ mission

1:44
Summer is in the air: Hot week ahead in New York City

Summer is in the air: Hot week ahead in New York City

1:30
Madison Square Boys & Girls Club alumni fight to find a buyer following closing announcement of Crotona Park location

Madison Square Boys & Girls Club alumni fight to find a buyer following closing announcement of Crotona Park location

1:43
‘Ride of Silence’ takes cyclists on ghost bike tour, honors victims of traffic accidents

‘Ride of Silence’ takes cyclists on ghost bike tour, honors victims of traffic accidents

1:00
FDNY firefighter injured during Bronx house fire released from hospital

FDNY firefighter injured during Bronx house fire released from hospital