It’s tax day and hopefully, that means your tax returns are at least out of your hands for this year. If getting to this day was painful, you are not alone. Did you know that the IRS has over 1,100 different forms and processes 4 billion total forms each year? The cost to the public of all of these forms, even with some digital options, is estimated to be $31.9 billion annually. And annually individuals and businesses spend 8 billion hours on these forms: reading instructions, printing them out, filling them out, sending them in (often by mail) and correcting errors. 

We believe federal employees, citizens and businesses, and the environment deserve better and fortunately, our legislators agree. Congress took a step in the right direction by passing the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA) late last year, an act that will digitally transform how the federal government interacts with the public. Its most impactful requirements include the modernization of websites, the use of electronic signatures, and the digitization of all forms. When fully implemented across every government agency by December 2020, these measures will save taxpayer dollars and improve the citizen experience with the availability of digital, self-service tools that people prefer (and increasingly expect) to use.

While we can all agree that tax time can be painful, it doesn’t have to be. To prepare for a smoother tax filing process next year, here are some key strategies to consider. Households with incomes below $66,000 can use the IRS’ Free File software to file electronically. Those with greater incomes or more complicated taxes can file electronically as well using Free File Fillable Forms, 3rd party software, or a tax preparer.

For tax preparers authorized to file taxes on their clients’ behalf, DocuSign already far exceeds IRS requirements for eSigning Forms 8878 and 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization forms.  EROs can start using DocuSign immediately to deliver better customer service, minimize the possibility of errors on their clients’ returns, and create a speedier workflow.

Learn more about how government agencies can improve the citizen experience.