E-file tax credit wilts in Congress

President Clinton had one inexpensive idea to encourage taxpayers to file

their tax returns online — give them a $10 tax credit to do it.

But lawmakers didn't like it, and it was one of many e-proposals that

died a quiet death in the 106th Congress.

"It was an incentive to try to get people to e-file," said Pete Sepp,

spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union. "It was better than a tax increase."

But the Internal Revenue Service may not need an incentive.

Despite the fact that it costs taxpayers money to buy software or hire

an authorized tax accountant to file electronically, the tax agency estimates

that 43 million Americans will file online in 2001, up from 34 million this

year.

The IRS expects the number of e-filers to keep growing — with or without

a tax credit.

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