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Redelmeier, a Canadian, said he studied the United States because the American tax code is so complicated, and probably more stressful for taxpayers, than in other countries.
The study examined data from 1980 to 2009. Electronic tax filing started in 1986 and become increasingly popular during the study period. But it appeared to have no effect on Tax Day deaths, which also increased, Redelmeier said.
Last year, about three-fourths of the 145 million individual returns were filed electronically. Eventually, everyone will likely file online.
Redelmeier said filing electronically can be stressful, too, and it might even encourage people to wait until the last minute to do their returns. For those reasons, he said it's unlikely universal e-filing will result in fewer Tax Day deaths.
A spokeswoman for the Internal Revenue Service declined to comment on the study.
This year, the IRS has postponed the deadline by two days, to April 17. That's because April 15 is a Sunday and the next day is Emancipation Day -- a public holiday observed in Washington, D.C.
Canada's tax deadline day is April 30. Redelmeier said his own tax returns "are not quite ready," and added with a laugh, "It's caused some friction in the house."
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research helped pay for the study.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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