PaperAge Magazine

Paper Plays an Important Role in Tax Season

Donna Harman "Citizens should have a choice in how they receive important information and the option to file tax forms in the manner they most trust." – Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA.

April 3, 2017 - American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement on the impact of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continued moves to deny paper-based information and services.

“For many our phone is more of an appendage than an accessory. So, it may be difficult to believe that digital isn't always the preferred method of receiving information, especially during tax season. In fact, the age group most likely to file paper tax returns is millennials.

“A government of the people should, above all others, know and meet the needs of its constituents. Yet, the IRS has plans to increase electronic communication and has repeatedly made moves to make it more difficult to get paper documentation.

“Americans recognize that paying taxes is not a choice but a responsibility. Citizens should have a choice in how they receive important information and the option to file tax forms in the manner they most trust. The IRS should not be allowed to impose digital-only access as a one-size-fits-all requirement for taxpayers.”

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.

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, 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 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures approximately $200 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 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 or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.