Looking for a paper copy of a tax form to do your 2012 taxes?
With the IRS encouraging taxpayers to e-file their taxes, the paper versions are not as easy to find as they once were when every library and post office carried stacks of the various forms.
"They are not in as many places as they used to be because so many people are filing electronically. We're printing less because it is so expensive, not just to print them, but to store them," said IRS spokesman Michael Devine. "And, with 80 percent of taxpayers e-filing, there is less demand for them."
The cost to print and process a paper return is about $3.50 each, compared to about $0.15 to process an electronic return, Devine said.
Of the more than 147 million individual tax returns filed last year, about 80 percent were filed electronically and three out of four refund filers used direct deposit to receive their refund, according to the IRS.
The paper forms still can be found at some libraries and post offices.
"Some libraries will have a book of forms available," Devine said. "The libraries will print out the forms, put them in a book, and taxpayers can make copies of the forms they need."
* Hard copies of tax forms are available at the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center at 380 Fountain Office Court in Fairview Heights. The phone number is 618- 632-2567.
* Copies of the forms can be ordered directly from the IRS by calling 800-829-3676. The service is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Forms will be received in the mail in about 10 days.
* Forms and publications can be downloaded 24 hours a day from www.irs.gov.
* Many large grocery stores, copy centers and office supply stores have forms that can be photocopied or printed from a CD.
Contact reporter Jennifer A. Schaaf at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2667.