A spokesman with the Internal Revenue Service says there was a big jump in the number of people who filed their federal taxes electronically. Christopher Miller says electronic filing was up six-percent nationwide, and Iowa was part of the trend. He says approximately 905-thousand Iowa returns have been filed electronically — about 72-percent of all returns. Miller says that’s an increase in Iowa by about one-point-seven percent.
Miller says much of the e-filing came from people who did their own taxes. Miller says they saw a surge of e-filing at the end of tax season — particularly from people filing after using software on their home computers. He says the number of people who used software on their home computers was up 18-percent.
Miller says the I-R-S would like to see the number of people using e-file continue to increase. He says Congress is still discussing the goals for e-filing. Miller says they probably won’t ever get to 100-percent, but he says they’d like to reach 80-percent in the next few years.
Miller says once a taxpayer uses e-file, they do it again because of the benefits. Miller says with e-file you get your refund in two weeks compared to four to six weeks with a paper return. And he says the electronic process is more accurate with a less than one percent error rate in the electronic returns compared to 20-percent with the paper returns.
Miller says more people appear to be getting money back. Miller says more refunds are going out compared to last year, as the I-R-S has already issued 85-million dollars in refunds averaging 22-hundred dollars. Iowa was the number one state when it came to e-filing in 2004 — but the numbers for 2005 are not yet complete.