More accurate, efficient than paper returns

Doing away with paperwork is really paying off for Washington State revenue collection. Nearly 1.3 million out of 1.8 million state tax returns were filed electronically during Fiscal Year 2010, a 30-percent jump over the prior year, the Washington State Department of Revenue reported Aug 17. More than 70 percent of returns are filed electronically and the Department expects usage to increase. Nearly 75 percent of all excise taxes are paid electronically.

Revenue Director Cindi Holmstrom said the resulting reduction in paperwork is helping the Department operate more efficiently and it benefits businesses, too, because they make fewer errors when filing electronically.

She noted that efficiencies such as E-file have helped the Department accommodate a 109-percent increase in registered businesses over the past 15 years with only a 2.7 percent increase in staffing.

"The less paperwork we have to do, the more attention we can pay to education and enforcement to ensure that businesses are paying their fair share," she said.

The department maintains a secure a website within for taxpayers to file returns electronically, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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