Department of Revenue pushes for electronic tax filing

JUNEAU — Tucked within most of the tax bills Gov. Bill Walker submitted to lawmakers this session is a provision requiring Alaskans who pay taxes to the state on everything from alcohol to fishing to file their reports electronically.

Under the bills, taxpayers who submit returns by paper rather than by the Department of Revenue’s electronic filing service would be penalized. The penalty proposed is a $25 fine or one percent of the total tax.

Department Tax Division Director Ken Alper says the department employs five to six people to process tax returns each year. Documents can be up to 400 pages long.

The electronic filing system is the result of years of modernization that Alper says came from the legislature providing $34.7 million to the department to update antiquated systems.

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