IRS Not Mailing Forms This Year

In case you haven’t heard, the IRS has decided not to automatically mail out forms for paper returns this year. Instead, taxpayers who filed paper returns last year will be receiving a postcard in early October – right about now – with instructions on how to get forms if they need them.

In short, you can either get the forms online at, or by visiting a local IRS office or a participating library.

This change is primarily a cost-savings initiative, and it’s being driven by the growth in e-filing. In fact, just 8% of tax filers used forms that came in the mail last year, with the rest either e-filing or using a professional preparer or software package.

As far as states go, I’ve heard that at least a few will be making similar changes, though I don’t have an exhaustive list. Feel free to leave a comment if you know how your state is handling things.

P.S. Don’t you just love that they’re mailing you something to tell you that they’re not going to mail you something?

7 Responses to “IRS Not Mailing Forms This Year”

  1. Anonymous

    I am happy the IRS is trying to save money. I have been doing mine E-file or printing forms of the computer for years. I think I even used to do my taxes on a Commodore 64. It must be at least 20 years since I manually did my taxes. Isn’t progress wonderful.

  2. Anonymous

    It makes sense to me… mailing a post card is significantly cheaper than mailing forms (and instructions if they mail those.) Hopefully they only have to do this once.

    “but I never received the form!” The IRS will accept all excuses with exactly the same mercy, that is, absolutely none. They will asses penalties and interest and maybe if you’re lucky, let you go on a payment plan.

    @MITBeta – if you’re referring to the census mailings, as dumb as it seems, the Census Bureau actually calculated that it saved money by increasing the response rate to the letters, which then avoided sending a human to the address. A friend of mine worked as an “enumerator” for the Census and believe me, they could send thousands of postcards for the cost of one human going back to a house over and over trying to get someone inside to answer a few questions.

  3. Anonymous

    “Don’t you just love that they’re mailing you something to tell you that they’re not going to mail you something?”

    Better than mailing you something to tell you they ARE about to mail you something…

  4. Anonymous

    It’s about time, geez. Yeah, but the whole thing smells of irony. I wonder how many people will use “but I never received the form!” as an excuse for not filing this year. 🙂

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