I can still remember the first time my dad helped me with my tax return when I was in college. We sat down at the kitchen table with a large, intimidating stack of papers needing to be filled out, and a couple extra stacks for when we made mistakes.
Thankfully, today we can e-file our tax returns. E-filing your tax return is the best way to to file your taxes quickly and safely; not to mention when combined with direct deposit, it’s the fastest way to receive your tax refund.
E-File Checklist – How to Correctly E-File Your Taxes
E-filing is fast and efficient. But don’t use that as an excuse to be lazy. Prepare. There is still prep work to be done to accurately e-file your tax return. Following this simple checklist will help you form a plan and choose your next few steps when you sit down and file your taxes.
Information you need for e-filing:
- Social security numbers for yourself, your spouse, and all your dependents.
- General income information – W2 Forms for salary, wages, and tips; interest income and real estate sales, and even unemployment.
- Retirement and Social Security income.
- Business income and expenses – including rental property, farm income, and partnerships or trusts.
- If you have enough expenses to itemize your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction, you’ll need all of your receipts.
- Any state tax refunds you may have received.
- Copy of your last year’s tax return
- Educational expenses, child care expenses, and documentation for interest paid on student loans.
- Bank account/routing numbers for direct deposit of any refund you may receive.
Benefits of E-Filing
If something is broke, don’t fix it…right? So why, if taxes have been mailed to the IRS for decades, should you decide to e-file your return?
The benefits to e-filing your tax return are numerous. Probably the biggest benefit to e-filing your taxes is that you receive confirmation from Uncle Sam that the IRS has received your return.
No more sitting around for weeks wondering if your paperwork made it to where it was supposed to go. No more “lost in the mail” excuses. No more worrying.
E-filing is also faster and more accurate than paper filing. When you e-file, the IRS receives your information in a digital copy. So no one needs to re-type your info into their computer system. The IRS can begin processing your information quicker and there is less chance of keying errors.
Also, when you e-file, your tax refund can be processed and delivered faster than paper filing. E-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your tax refund. The IRS states that 9 out of 10 tax refunds will be issued within 21 days from acceptance of your tax return.
E-filing your tax return keeps you in the loop when it comes to your taxes and fast communication is key.