FS-2004-5, January 2004
The Internal Revenue Service will send taxpayers almost 34 million tax packages and nearly 28 million computer-filing brochures this year. This mailout costs nearly $7.5 million for printing and almost $12 million for postage, for an average cost of 31 cents per item mailed. Most people will get their tax packages in early January. The IRS expects to receive about 131 million tax returns in 2004, with e-filing reaching nearly 60 million returns.
The IRS does not mail tax packages to those likely to use a computer to do their own returns. Instead, it sends them a brochure that explains electronic filing and the Self-Select PIN (personal identification number) program.
Almost 16 million of the tax packages invite recipients to file by telephone. These TeleFile packages — which contain no tax forms — include Customer Service Numbers, used to “sign” the returns, and a “Tax Record” that helps the taxpayer prepare for the call and serves as a record of filing.
Nearly 1.7 million taxpayers will receive a Form 1040-V payment voucher in a separate mailing from their regular tax packages. The voucher helps ensure that their payments are accurately credited to their accounts. The IRS saves money by mailing the voucher separately from the tax packages.
Taxpayers should use the name labels from the tax packages on their forms to help ensure a correct mailing address. Since the labels don’t include Social Security numbers (SSNs), taxpayers must put their SSNs on their forms, taking care that each person’s SSN matches the name on the Social Security card. Failure to do so may result in delayed refunds or lost tax benefits. Incorrect or missing numbers for taxpayers or dependents were the most frequent errors on returns the last few years.
Forms and publications are available online, or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).
Related Item: Forms and Publications