IRS: No more tax forms in the mailbox

By Paul Courson, CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Electronic filing of tax returns has become so popular that the Internal Revenue Service will no longer automatically mail a traditional paper form.

"We're finding that more and more people are choosing to e-file, and the number of paper returns is going down," said IRS spokesman Anthony Burke. He told CNN Tuesday that the agency last year mailed the old-style set of paper forms, tables and instructions to just eight percent of the nation's taxpayers.

The IRS hopes to save $10 million a year by not mailing out hardcopy documents.

Burke said 96 million taxpayers this year have filed electronically, with another 20 million filing through professional tax preparers. The IRS hopes to save $10 million a year by not automatically mailing the materials.

Those who prefer hardcopy documents can still find them at libraries, post offices and walk-in IRS offices around the country. After Jan. 1, they can request a mailing through the IRS toll-free number, 800-829-3676.

The materials will also be available to download and print out from the IRS website:

Some people may not miss the annual ritual of opening their mailbox and finding the dreaded reminder of tax time. Burke said the IRS "won't produce the package any more," as the agency transitions to providing software and other support for electronic filing.

Instead, in the next few weeks, those who filed traditional paperwork last year will get a simple postcard from the IRS, with instructions on how to obtain the documents needed to file a tax return. To top of page

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