GE gets digital with the tax man
Most people in the digital age know the benefits of E-filing tax returns for the individual. The IRS states that nearly 71 million individual income tax returns for tax year 2005 have been filed electronically. A thing we don't hear about, however, is the multitude of American corporations that account for a huge amount of IRS work. One of the leaders in the corporate E-File initiative is General Electric . This year they filed nearly 27,000 pages of tax forms (over 8 FEET of paper if stacked) entirely digitally. Their E-File, on the other hand, only took up 237 meg! Most cell phones have that kind of storage these days.
The IRS has mandated that all corporations with over 50 million in assets start filing electronically, but have met much resistance in the private sector. The total cost of implementation has got many corporate tax officers gun shy and the IRS is only expecting 11,000 of the nearly 5 million US corporations to E-File this year.
General Electric, which posted $150 billion in revenue last year, has embraced the E-file mandate. GE's senior tax counsel, Richard DÂAvino, said it cost between $500,000 and $1 million to develop a system for electronic filing. But he said GE will save "many millions" by shifting from paper.
In the new global economy and digital world, companies that step up and embrace these changes will be the leaders of the pack. Unlike the dinosaurs that will cry and moan until they are forced into it, GE has reminded us that not all billion dollar corporations are stuck in the tar pits and sinking fast.