House votes for e-filing extension

Congress wants to make it easier for taxpayers to file their taxes electronically, and it is working to give them an extra 15 days to submit a tax return.

A bill passed in the House June 19 would extend the April 15 filing deadline to April 30 for those who file and pay taxes electronically. The legislation now goes to the Senate for action.

Government officials want to extend the deadline as an extra incentive for people to file electronically. They argue that taxpayers that pay by check get a "float" on their money until the check is deposited and cashed — a process that can take up to two weeks.

The IRS has a goal of having 80 percent of all taxpayers filing online by 2007. However, a recent General Accounting Office report said the the tax agency will miss that mark, noting that the IRS can anticipate having 61 percent of all taxpayers filing online by the deadline if the current rate of e-filers continues.

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