More than 240.2 million federal tax returns were filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2020. Each year, more and more of those returns are filed electronically, but even in 2020, that meant 45 million paper filings. Small wonder there’s a processing backlog—and a monumental task ahead for digitizing those documents.
Since 2018, the IRS has been working to go paperless by the end of 2022. As that program progresses, and ideas for processing, scanning, validating, and transferring documents are being tested, Resultant has partnered with the IRS on a scanning as a service pilot project. That work will move forward through the final phase of the project.
Addressing a daunting paper backlog
In July 2021, the IRS issued an RFP for innovative solutions to handle the backlog of paper documents currently on hand and address the annual flood of filings and supplemental materials. National Taxpayer Advocate estimates the IRS currently has a backlog of around 15 million 2020 and 2021 returns.
Paper returns require significant expense and effort to manage, from secure physical storage to the onerous task of moving, reviewing, sorting, and transferring documents. Digitizing helps reduce errors and simplifies or eradicates many of the tasks that paper filings demand. According to the RFP, the IRS expects more than 1 billion pages to be digitized throughout the scope of this project.
Advancing toward greater efficiency
Modernizing the IRS’s data intake process will go a long way toward preventing backlogs in the future, saving money and time—and keeping taxpayers happier by moving returns along faster.
The Resultant team has been proud to collaborate with the IRS and our local partner Phoenix Data Corporation toward furthering the IRS’s digitization efforts—and making tax paying less burdensome all around.
Read more about the project here.