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Filing tax returns: Less paper and more online

February 03, 2013

Since the Internal Revenue Service and the Maryland comptroller’s office no longer automatically send out tax forms, where can the forms be found?

To print forms for filing state taxes in Maryland, documents can be downloaded from the comptroller’s website at www.marylandtaxes.com, or by emailing taxforms@comp.state.md.us.

For Washington County residents who do not have access to a computer, state documents are available for pickup at the Professional Arts Building at 1 S. Potomac St. on Public Square in Hagerstown.

With about 80 percent of people filing their taxes electronically, there’s less need for traditional paper documents, an IRS official said last week.

“As more and more people become comfortable filing their returns online, the necessity of paper tax documents has decreased, so we no longer mail the paper tax packages to the homes of taxpayers, unless they do call and order them,” IRS spokeswoman Peggy Riley said. “They still can call and order forms to be mailed to them.”

Riley said people who wish to file their taxes on paper documents and have access to a computer can log on to the IRS website, www.irs.gov, find the documents they need and print them.

For those who do not have access to a computer, Riley said documents can be ordered from the IRS by calling 1-800-829-3676.

“You can call that line and order the forms and publications to be mailed directly to your home,” she said.

Some local libraries and post offices might still stock paper filing documents, but availability continues to decrease year by year, according to Riley.

 Taxpayers with an annual income of $57,000 or less can log onto the IRS website and choose from a list of about 20 “free file” online agencies to whom federal returns can be filed free of charge, she said.

“Those computer systems will lead you through the entire tax return and ask you questions based on information that you input right at the beginning,” Riley said. “It’s going to bring up questions on credits and deductions that you might not even be aware of. So it’s going to give you a much more accurate return because you’re going to get everything that you’re due, and it does all the math for you and you don’t have to remember to sign the form.

“It’s a lot easier for taxpayers, and then on our end, it processes a lot quicker because ... it goes right into our filing system,” she said.

— Compiled by C.J. Lovelace

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