Imagine you are in charge of an enterprise that has to process over 140 million forms each year. Each form, on paper, costs about $2.87 to process. Wait, you say, it is the 21st century and computers might not be a passing fad — shouldn’t there be a way to process the form electronically at some lower cost? Very astute. It turns out that there is, and it will cost you about 35 cents to process each electronic version.
Obviously, you would decide that it should be entirely free to mail in the forms on paper and cost money to submit electronically, right? (Oh, with an important exception that turning in the form electronically must be free for anyone who makes less than around $58,000 a year.)