By Christie Duffy
With the click of a picture, A W-2 can be filed.
You might call it “app-filing.” Private companies are offering smart phone apps that allow for typically young filers with simple returns to upload with the click of a button.
“Definitely a new trend. The new age came into play with the tax season,” said IRS Spokesman Mark Green.
The IRS also offers an app that allows you to check the status of your tax refund, find your tax records and tax prep providers.
And as e-filing on computers continues to rise, the federal agency has put more safeguards into place to keep your information safe.
“Fast, safe and accurate. Over a billion filed without a security breach. Do it by word of mouth. It’s fast and most important that young generation is getting out there and technology makes it user friendly,” Green said.
New Jersey and the country are on pace to beat last year’s record for e-filing. The IRS says e-filing is the fastest way to get a refund, in as little as 21 days.
“New Jersey actually has set a record this year. We have received the most electronic file returns that we have ever received in the history of electronic filing. We received 3.1 million tax returns, and that’s out of 3.5 million that we projected for the entire year,” Green said.
According to the IRS, more than 90 percent of taxpayers have e-filed so far this year, trending up from the same time last year, when just under 90 percent e-filed their taxes. The trend is reflected here in New Jersey too.
Certified Public Accountant Tim Pitrowski says he uses only e-files for his clients.
“You know it cuts down on paper, it speeds up the process,” Pitrowski said.
Despite the upward trend in electronic filing, business was still moderately busy around lunchtime at the Edison post office. Taxpayers here say they prefer to stick with tried and trusted paper forms.
But with the bulk of business going electronic, could the post office be rendered obsolete?
“Certainly the internet and electronic communications has taken a toll on USPS, however we did handle over 160 billion pieces of mail last year,” said USPS Spokesman George Flood.
Twenty post offices in North Jersey are open until 7 p.m. today. The Bellmawr post office in South Jersey has extended hours until 10 p.m. tonight.