Should I e-File My IRS Return?
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
You may be able to file a paperless return using IRS e-file (electronic filing). Over 68 million taxpayers preferred e-file over filing a paper tax return last year.
IRS e-file uses automation to replace most of the manual steps needed to process paper returns. As a result, the processing of e-file returns is faster and more accurate than the processing of paper returns. However, as with a paper return, you are responsible for making sure your return contains accurate information and is filed on time.
Benefits of IRS e-file
- Free File allows qualified taxpayers to prepare and e-file their own tax returns for free using commercially available online tax preparation software.
- Get your refund in half the time as paper filers do, even faster and safer with direct deposit.
- Sign electronically and file a completely paperless return.
- Receive an electronic proof of receipt within 48 hours that the IRS received your return.
- If you owe, you can e-file and authorize an electronic funds withdrawal or pay by credit card. If you e-file before April 17, 2006, you can schedule an electronic funds withdrawal from your checking or savings account as late as April 17, 2006.
- Prepare and file your federal and state returns together and save time.
- IRS computers quickly and automatically check for errors or other missing information.
- The chance of being audited does not differ whether you e-file or file a paper tax return.
- Your bank account information is safeguarded along with other tax return information. The IRS does not have access to credit card numbers.
Using an Authorized IRS e-File Provider
Many tax professionals electronically file tax returns for their clients. As a taxpayer, you have two options:
- You can prepare your return, take it to an Authorized IRS e-file Provider, and have the provider transmit it electronically to the IRS.
- You can have a tax professional prepare your return and transmit it for you electronically.
Note: Tax professionals may charge a fee for IRS e-file. Fees may vary depending on the professional and the specific services rendered.
Using Your Personal Computer
You can file your tax return in a fast, easy, convenient way using your personal computer. A computer with a modem or Internet access and tax preparation software are all you need. Best of all, you can e-file from the comfort of your home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. IRS approved tax preparation software is available for online use on the Internet, for download from the Internet, and in retail stores.
For more information on e-filing, visit the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/Filing.
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