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IRS launches paperless processing initiative for correspondence in 2024

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plans to launch its Paperless Processing Initiative, aiming to allow taxpayers to go paperless if they choose to do so by the 2024 filing season.

The IRS expects to achieve full paperless processing by the 2025 filing season, which means that all paper-filed returns will be digitized upon receipt, the agency said. The initiative aims to eliminate up to 200 million pieces of paper annually, halve processing times and speed up refund times by several weeks.

Each year, the IRS receives around 76 million paper tax returns and forms, along with 125 million pieces of correspondence, notice responses and non-tax forms. The agency said that its limited capability to accept these forms digitally or to digitize received paper has prevented it from providing the world-class service taxpayers deserve.

The IRS also has more than one billion historical documents, which costs $40 million per year to store.

For the 2024 filing season, taxpayers will have the option to go paperless, submitting all correspondence, non-tax forms and responses to notices digitally. As a result, the IRS estimates that more than 94% of individual taxpayers will no longer ever need to send mail to the IRS.

In addition to these changes, taxpayers will be able to e-file 20 more tax forms. 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.

By the 2025 filing season, an additional 150 of the most used non-tax forms will be available in digital, mobile-friendly formats, and the IRS will digitally process all paper-filed tax and information returns.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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