IRS E-filing Program History & Timeline

When taxpayers electronically transmit their income tax return it saves the IRS and state taxing agencies time and money. It is also a "green" (environmentally friendly) alternative to printing and mailing.

It costs considerably more to process paper returns into a format that is machine-readable. In fact, due in part to increased e-filing, the IRS budget actually decreased (inflation-adjusted figures) between 2010-2015. From extremely few taxpayers using the system in 1986 to becoming today’s norm, the history of e-filing demonstrates that the trend towards electronic transmission continues to grow.

E-filing has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1986. It has also saved money and streamlined the process for filing tax returns.