2007 Tax Season Sets Record for E-file
The recently completed 2007 tax filing season set a number of electronic records, highlighted by more than 76 million electronically-filed individual tax returns and more than 140 million visits to IRS.gov. This year’s tax season saw a surge in electronic filing among last-minute filers, a group that has traditionally sent in paper returns. During the week that included this year’s tax-filing deadline alone, the number of electronically-filed returns received by the IRS jumped 35 percent over the same week last year. New records were also set for the number of returns e-filed by home computer users, the number of balance-due returns filed electronically and the number and amount of direct-deposit refunds. “E-file and our other electronic services helped us deliver a strong filing season for the nation’s taxpayers,” said IRS Acting Commissioner Kevin M. Brown. Some of the highlights recently released are: 22 million taxpayer e-filed from a home computer; the average refund this year is up 2.5 percent from last year; nearly $158 billion were directly deposited; and the number of balance-due returns filed electronically surged 14.2 percent. For all of last year, almost 8.9 million balance-due returns were filed electronically.
Software Strategies for Small Businesses
Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms and account for half of all private sector jobs.. They also produce 13 to 14 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms. But small businesses put all of this success and innovation at risk if they do not properly manage their software assets. In 2005, nearly 21 percent of software installed on U.S. computers was unlicensed. The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Business Software Alliance have outlined some practices for small businesses to follow to protect against the use of unlicensed software. Here are some examples:
• Establish a Responsible Software Policy – Develop guidelines concerning the illegal copying and use of commercial software in your business.
• Communicate the Corporate Software Policy to Internal Staff – Educate employees about the software policy and distribute the information through orientation materials and bulletin-board postings.
• Centralize the Compliance Process – Software compliance is only as effective as the employee responsible for enforcing it.
• Purchase from Authorized Dealers – To ensure your software is legal, buy only from authorized dealers or through reputable application service providers (ASPs).
• Keep Informed – Stay up-to-date on emerging software piracy trends to better understand how to protect your network security. Software management is critically important for every small business.