IRS e-file, the electronic transmission system that sends tax returns to IRS processing centers, has passed the one billion mark for individual tax returns processed, the agency announced Thursday.
Started as a pilot projectin 1986, the electronic filing program became available nationally in 1990. Taxpayers can e-file through their tax preparers, through commercial software they use to prepare their own returns or through Free File, the free tax software and e-file program offered through IRS.gov.
Before this year’s April 18 filing deadline, IRS e-file passed another high point as more than 100 million individual tax returns were e-filed during the 2011 filing season.
Despite its growth, e-file has experienced growing pains. As late as 2007, wealthier individuals were facing kinksin the program that had yet to be worked out. And a January 2011 reportby the Government Accountability Office said gaps related to content management and usability reviews continued.