Internet tax filing on rise

The portion of taxpayers filing their 1999 returns over the Internet has

reached about 27 percent so far, a top Internal Revenue Service official

said.

Paul Cosgrave, the chief information officer at the IRS, said Thursday there

has been a slow but steady increase from last year, when about 23 percent

of all taxpayers filed online.

"It is going in the right direction," Cosgrave said.

Final numbers for this year's online filing won't be available until after

this year's tax filing deadline on April 17.

The IRS hopes to have most taxpayers filing online by 2008, but many kinks

still need to be worked out, including the cost. Many taxpayers have to

pay about $20 for software that enables them to file to a third party who

then transmits the return to the IRS.

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