There may be 2-D bar codes in the future of paper-filed returns, if recommendations from the Government Accountability Office are followed.In its end-of-year report on last year’s tax season, the GAO said that the Internal Revenue Service exceeded the previous year’s performance by most measures. However, it noted a number of opportunities to realize additional savings and increase tax compliance, with the barcoding of paper returns among them.

The GAO noted that paper returns limit the effectiveness of the IRS’s enforcement programs, since to control costs, the IRS does not transcribe all the lines on paper tax returns into its computer databases, which limits the amount of information available electronically for enforcement purposes.

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