As you may be aware, for the last few years the Internal Revenue Service has been strongly urging taxpayers to file their income tax returns electronically. Tax return preparers have been required to IRS e-file individual income tax returns since 2012, with certain allowable exceptions. One of those exceptions is that the taxpayer can opt-out of e-filing and choose to file on paper. Although you may have a reason for not wanting to e-file, for the 122 million taxpayers who did e-file last year there are actually several good reasons for doing so.
E-file is actually the best way to file an accurate and complete return since tax software is designed to do the math and help you avoid mistakes. E-filing means the IRS does not have to re-type your tax return at their service center, which means less chance that the IRS will make a mistake when processing your return. When e-filing you will receive a confirmation that the IRS has received your tax return. This is proof that the IRS received your tax return and has started processing it. E-file also meets strict security guidelines and uses the best encryption technology. Since the start of the e-file program, the IRS has safety and securely processed more than 1.2 billion e-file individual tax returns.
If you would like to receive your refund earlier, e-filing is definitely the way to go. Because there is nothing to mail and your return is less likely to contain errors, e-filed returns have a shorter turnaround time. Most IRS refunds were issued in less than 21 days. An even faster way to get your refund is to combine e-filing with direct deposit into your bank account.
With the e-file program you have several different payment options available. If you owe taxes, you can e-file and set an automatic payment date on or before the April 15th due date. You can pay by check, money order, debit card or credit card. You can also transfer funds electronically from your bank account.
E-file is easy. You can e-file your federal return through IRS Free File at IRS.gov. You can also use commercially available software or simply ask your tax preparer to e-file your return.
Try it. You’ll like it.