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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release

October 15, 2009
Contact: Li-Yun Chien
(202) 622-6500

TIGTA Releases Report on 2009 Filing Season

The IRS had a successful 2009 filing season despite the challenges presented by the enactment of new tax legislation and unusually high taxpayer errors in calculating the recovery rebate credit, according to a report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

Each year, tax law changes create challenges for both the IRS and individual taxpayers. The 2009 filing season presented additional challenges due to the enactment of significant tax law changes after the filing season had started. The IRS received more than 133.6 million individual income tax returns during the 2009 filing season, of which 91.7 million were electronically filed, or e-filed.

The filing season is critical for the IRS because it is the time when most individuals file their income tax returns and contact the IRS if they have questions about specific tax laws or filing procedures. The overall objective of TIGTA's review was to evaluate whether the IRS timely and accurately processed individual paper and electronically filed tax returns during the 2009 filing season.

"The IRS is to be commended for its work in implementing significant tax law changes during the 2009 filing season," commented J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

TIGTA identified a 36.7 percent decrease in use of the Free File Program. The Free File Program is a free Federal tax return preparation and e-filing program for eligible taxpayers developed through a partnership between the IRS and tax software companies. The IRS believes this decrease is due to a later start to the 2009 filing season, the migration of taxpayers to other free offers in the marketplace and the elimination of e-filing fees by some software providers.

To view the full report, including the scope, methodology and full IRS response, go to: https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2009reports/200940142fr.pdf.


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