The Internal Revenue Service has stated that electronic filing is the safest, fastest and easiest way for taxpayers to file their returns. Furthermore, e-filing is good for the tax system, good for taxpayers and good for the tax-preparation industry. Here are 10 reasons to join over 138-million taxpayers and e-file this tax year.
- Security. Filing electronically eliminates the possibility that personal information, such as your Social Security number, can fall into the wrong hands while going through the mail. An e-filed return is encrypted to prevent any access to data as it moves between tax software and the IRS, which has safely and securely processed more than 1.3-billion e-filed tax returns from individuals since the program began.
- Acknowledgement of receipt. The IRS’s e-file program provides immediate acknowledgement that the IRS received the return. There’s no chance of it being mangled, lost or delayed in the mail. You also save postage.
- Human error. When you mail in a return, someone at the IRS has to enter or scan your data into their systems. Keying errors and technical problems can interfere with getting your taxes filed properly. When you e-file, your data goes directly into the IRS computer system.
- Error rate reduced. Paper returns have 20 times more errors than e-filed returns. If there is an e-filed error, you get a rejection notice in as little as 48 hours. It will tell you how to fix your return so it will be acceptable to the IRS. Fix it, then click and resubmit the return. Incorrect paper returns take six weeks to correct.
- Quicker refunds. The IRS says that a taxpayer filing electronically receives a refund in half the time as one who files a paper return—even faster with direct deposit. Direct-deposited refunds can be received within 10 days. If your refund is sizable, this is a major reason for wanting to e-file.
- Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL). If you have a refund coming, you can also borrow money using a refund anticipation loan (RAL), which is a contract between you and a bank lender. Filing electronically speeds this process as well.
- Online payment. If you owe tax, you can pay online and schedule an electronic-funds withdrawal any time through the due date of your return. You can always opt to mail a check with the voucher or use a credit card.
- Convenience. Since you don’t have to go to the post office, you don’t have to finish your return before it closes! You have the ability to e-file 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- It’s easy. You can usually file your state return at the same time you electronically file your Federal return.
- Go green. Protect our environment. E-filing saves paper and needless copying; less frequent trips to the post office save gas.
Electronic filing is the new norm. Over 90 percent of all filers now submit their returns using the e-file method. It’s time to put the pencils and calculators away.
Barry Lisak is an IRS Enrolled Agent, meaning that he has passed special U.S. Treasury Department exams that qualify him to represent clients dealing with audits or tax-resolution cases. Any questions can be directed to him at (516) TAX-SAVE, or email@example.com.
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