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E-file can speed refunds to strapped income tax filers
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ATLANTA — Georgia taxpayers will have more reasons than ever to make the switch to e-file with the IRS announcing the Jan. 16 opening of an expanded e-file program, highlighted by new tax forms that can be filled in and e-filed online, a feature that will allow virtually anyone to e-file at no cost.

“This year everyone is eligible for Free File,” said IRS spokesman Mark S. Green.

“If your adjusted gross income in 2008 was $56,000 or less, you are eligible to use one of the interview-based products that will guide you through the process of preparing your return or;

“If your income was above $56,000 you can still use the Free File Fillable Forms product to complete your tax return and file it electronically.  We think this product is best for folks who are comfortable with the tax code, know what forms they will use and who don't need assistance completing their returns.”

The IRS expects nearly 70 percent of Georgians to e-file this year, either through their preparers or on their own. That would equal to around 2.8 million Georgia filers that will scrapped paper in favor of the computer mouse.

According to Green, every year more and more people discover the benefits of IRS e-file. This year we think more taxpayers than ever will want a fast refund.  It is fast, accurate and secure. It’s easy to use. Best of all…taxpayers can receive their refunds in 10 days or less, at no cost.

 “I also would urge all tax preparers to consider electronically filing their clients’ returns. IRS e-file is good for business, whether you are a taxpayer or a tax professional,” Green said.

Last year, there was a surge in e-file from home computers. Nearly 908,000 Georgians prepared and e-filed their own returns, and approximately 153,000 Georgians filed their federal tax returns for free using Free File at

Free File offers 20 different software options that can assist taxpayers with Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGI) of $56,000 or less in 2008. Most Georgia taxpayers qualify for free online tax preparation and e-filing through Free File.  Taxpayers who are more comfortable with filling out paper tax forms may enjoy using the new online fillable tax forms, which can be e-filed free.

The IRS began the e-file program in 1986 as a pilot project in three cities: Cincinnati, Phoenix and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. That year, there were 25,000 tax returns filed electronically. The e-file program expanded nationwide in 1990 and 4.2 million tax returns were filed. IRS e-file has undergone tremendous growth each year. Last year, nearly 90 million returns were e-filed nationwide.