Lack of IRS Paper-Based Documents Harms Millions of Americans

Apr 02, 2018
Contact: Heather Stegner / Chuck Fuqua
(202) 463-2436, comms@afandpa.org

WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) denying paper-based information and services.

“The number of people who experienced identity theft while filing their taxes in 2016 is approximately the population of Anaheim, California or Tampa, Florida.[1] With news of data hacks and security breaches breaking regularly, government officials have increasingly turned to paper-based documents for added protection.

“Citizens will be complying with new tax rules this year. Unfortunately, the IRS no longer makes printed instructions available unless ordered for payment. Readily available, printed instructions will be needed more than ever before as people prepare their tax returns given these changes. 

“Despite security concerns or the simple fact that many Americans don’t have access broadband at home, the IRS continues down its short-sighted path of forcing digital-only communication. Digital-only policies discriminate against millions of Americans, many of whom are in rural communities and/or low income households. Citizens should have a choice in how they receive important information and the option to file tax forms in the manner they most trust.”

BACKGROUND: The IRS no longer mails tax forms to U.S. taxpayers, discontinued sending the Tax Instruction Guide for individuals (Publication 17) through the mail, and stopped equipping libraries or post offices with the booklet for distribution. The only place to find the instructions on paper is through Government Printing Office, where a hard copy version can be ordered for $10.

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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures over $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.