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So Far, E-Filing Accounts for 75% of Personal Income Tax Returns

E-filing appears to be catching on in the commonwealth. A record-breaking 4.5 million Pennsylvanians electronically filed last year's personal income taxes. It's an all-time high for the commonwealth, and a 7% jump in the number of people who choose to get their tax refunds — or pay their balances — electronically.

State Department of Revenue spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell said the error-reducing calculators on electronically filed returns can help taxpayers avoid common mistakes. "Transposing numbers, adding numbers up inaccurately, transposing cents for dollars, those kind of things," she said.

But Brassell said foregoing the postage stamp is also the most cost-effective way to file a tax return. "Electronic filing does save the state significant money, about $3.48 per return," she said.

This year, the state saved about $880,000 more than it did last year because of e-filing's rise.

She added that the agency will probably adjust the numbers to account for any returns that come in late, electronically or by mail. "We will receive stragglers through the rest of the year, and we tend to do a true-up in October, but this is the vast majority of returns," said Brassell.

About 4.2 million people filed electronically last year.