Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1159844
 
 

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The Benefits and Costs of I-File


Robert E. Litan


Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies

Jeffrey A. Eisenach


American Enterprise Institute

Kevin W. Caves


Navigant Economics

April 2008


Abstract:     
In 2007, nearly 60 percent of all Federal individual tax returns were filed electronically, about three times the proportion 10 years earlier. Because electronic filing is both more efficient and more accurate than filing by mail, it generates substantial savings for taxpayers: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates it saves $2.36 for each electronically-filed return.

The clear benefits of electronic filing have led policymakers to ask what steps can be taken to accelerate its adoption. One such proposal, commonly referred to as "I-File," calls for the IRS to develop and operate an online tax filing system that would allow individuals to prepare their returns online and submit their returns directly to the IRS. In this paper, we analyze the likely benefits and costs of I-File.

We conclude that I-File proposals do not represent a viable approach to increasing electronic filing, improving the efficiency of the IRS, or reducing the costs to taxpayers of filing tax returns.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 55

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Date posted: August 29, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Litan, Robert E. and Eisenach, Jeffrey A. and Caves, Kevin W., The Benefits and Costs of I-File (April 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1159844 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1159844

Contact Information

Robert E. Litan
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation ( email )
4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110
United States
AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies
1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States
Jeffrey A. Eisenach (Contact Author)
American Enterprise Institute ( email )
1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States
Kevin W. Caves
Navigant Economics ( email )
1801 K Street, NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20006
United States
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