Why Should I File My Tax Return Electronically?

Tax Tips

This is a question we hear every year.  There are a number of reasons to file electronically.  Up front, not everyone can file electronically.  Despite the fact the IRS would prefer we all file this way, there are still some forms that you cannot file electronically.

This document lists what forms can and cannot be filed electronically:

Probably the biggest reason to get excited about using electronic filing is if you have a refund coming to you.  When you file electronically, the IRS processes your return faster.  Add direct deposit of your refund to that and you can get your refund faster than you ever have paper filing.  The IRS website says you can get it in half the time.

There are other reasons to consider filing electronically as well.  You’ll see stated elsewhere that it’s “quick”, “easy” and “secure”.  All this is true.  It’s a few clicks with your mouse to send it over a secure connection established with our servers.  But I’d like to add to that.

When you file electronically, you return to the program in 48 hours to see what your status is.  At that time you find out if your return was accepted or rejected.  You don’t get feedback that quick when you paper file.  You find out if there was a problem much later.  It’s also nice to know that you have a receipt showing the IRS got your return.  You don’t have to wonder if it slipped between the counter and the wall at the post office.  (That’s an unlikely occurrence, but if you’re a worrier, you know you’ve thought that.)


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