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E-Filing

Posted By On March 2, 2007 @ 1:55 PM In Using The Internet | Comments Disabled

Q:
I know in the last couple of years, they have come out with e-filing for taxes. Are there really any good benefits to doing it this way? If so, please enlighten us!

A:
I know this may not seem like the normal kind of tip that we usually run, but I figured with tax time in high gear, it would be a good time to answer this question. Either way you look at it, the person who asked this is completely right. Filing taxes online has become very popular in the last few years and even the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) has been known to “push” people into filing their taxes this way. Of course, we can all figure out that e-filing is a big money saver for the government, but there really are some benefits for us too.

First of all, I want to make sure everyone understands the terminology I am talking about. The whole thing is called e-filing. It’s basically just a way for all the tax payers of the world to file their taxes electronically through the online world. To some, it’s a more convenient and faster way to get their taxes done. If you don’t agree yet, you may change your mind after hearing about the following benefits. Below are five of the most popular pros for e-filing.

1.) Fewer IRS Errors – You know, when you snail mail in your tax returns, IRS employees have to sit and enter in your amounts by hand. But, if you e-file, you get to do it all yourself and let’s be honest, we probably trust ourselves more than any IRS employee. Knowing that your information is entered in as correctly as possible is a great benefit in itself. This way, you can check your work as many times as you deem necessary as well. No keypunch errors and no IRS notices that your information was entered incorrectly. You can’t beat that!

2.) Fewer Taxpayer Errors – When you have to write out all of your information by hand, it’s possible that you could make some mistakes pretty easily. For example, maybe you misprinted your social security number or you forgot to write in your last name. If anything like this happens on a paper form, you won’t hear about it for several months, but with an e-file, the IRS lets you know about any common mistakes right away. The IRS computers will reject a return like that within seconds, so you won’t have to sit around wondering if everything was right or not. This, of course, doesn’t protect you completely from being audited, but in general, you will have a faster error return.

3.) Get a Faster Refund – It’s stated from the IRS that tax payers who e-file get their refunds back within 14 days, which is much quicker than the six weeks you may wait to get your snail mail return back. The 14 days isn’t a guarantee, but it is generally a faster method of doing things. So, how long would you like to wait for your check to come in the mail? Two weeks or six weeks?

4.) File Conveniently – One of the biggest benefits of e-filing is that you can do it from the comfort of your own computer chair. You get to use your own computer to file your taxes and you don’t have to worry about using someone else’s. Or, if you’re filing taxes for your business, you can easily do it from any of those computers as well. Several people have already taken advantage of this, so what do you think? Should you do it too?

5.) Send Both at Once – In a sense, with e-filing, you can kill two birds with one stone. In most cases, you are able to e-file both your federal and state taxes at the exact same time. Even though the returns go to different places, the IRS will forward your state information to the appropriate state tax agency. That way, you don’t have to worry about doing them separately and wasting more time.

Now, all of these benefits may sound great and even though you might be more than ready to go e-file your taxes right now, it’s best to look into it a little more to make sure e-filing is right for your tax purposes. There should be some information on e-filing at any of the places you pick up the paper tax forms at (libraries, etc). These days, most everyone is able to take advantage of e-filing, but it’s best to be completely certain yours will turn out okay if you do it this way. Once you learn more about it, you should be all set to go file your taxes and get your earned money back. It’s worth a try, don’t you think?!

~ Erin


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