Over 100,000 South Dakotans have filed electronically

Over 100,000 South Dakotans have filed electronically Electronic tax filings surged over the 100,000 mark on Monday as South Dakotans continue to switch from paper filing to computer-based e-file in record numbers.

As of Monday, March 3, the Internal Revenue Service had received a total of 101,080 electronically filed returns from people in South Dakota. That's up 12 percent over last year at this time, according to the IRS. The total includes returns filed electronically with the assistance of a professional tax preparer, those filed on line by individuals using tax preparation software, and basic returns filed over the phone using the IRS TeleFile system.

Electronic filing continues to grow in popularity in South Dakota. This is the third straight year that South Dakota has gone over the 100,000 mark and the earliest that this milestone has been reached. The first year was 2001 when South Dakotans filed 110,781 2000 returns electronically. That year, the 100,000 threshold was reached on April 9.

Last year, South Dakotans reached the 100,000 milestone on March 17 and went on to e-file 133,652 2001 returns. If present trends continue, more than 40 percent of all 2002 individual returns will be e-filed this year in South Dakota, according to the IRS.

This year's electronic filing growth is fueled, in part, by the new Free File initiative, available through the IRS Web site. Under this initiative, 17 tax-preparation software companies are offering free electronic filing to many of their customers who fill out their own returns. Each company sets its own eligibility requirements, spelled out on the IRS Web site.

Interested taxpayers can take advantage of these free services by visiting the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov and clicking on the Free File link.

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