Taxpayers who still file paper returns may find now is the best time to switch to e-file. Last year over 85 percent of taxpayers filed their taxes electronically. E-file is the fastest and safest way to file.
Here are the top seven reasons a taxpayer should file electronically in 2017.
- Accurate and Easy. e-file is the best way to file an accurate tax return. Tax software and knowledgeable experts help taxpayers avoid mistakes. They also make it easy for clients by guiding them through the return and knowing what questions to ask for each individual situation. E-file is easier than doing taxes by hand and mailing paper tax forms.
- Safe and Secure. IRS e-file meets strict security guidelines. It uses modern encryption technology to protect tax returns. The IRS continues to work with states and tax industry leaders to protect tax returns from refund fraud. This new effort has put more safeguards in place to make tax filing safer than ever before. Keep in mind the IRS has processed more than one billion e-filed returns safely and securely.
- Convenient and Often Free. There is no additional cost for e-filing. Taxpayers can ask their tax preparer to e-file their tax return at no additional cost. Most paid preparers have to file their clients’ returns electronically and have been vetted by the IRS through a background check for added security.
- Faster Refunds. In most cases, e-file prevents mistakes and helps people get their refund faster. The quickest way to get a refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit into a bank account. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days – however, some returns need further review and take longer. Often times my clients see their refunds within a week of filing!
- Prior-Year Tax Return. Taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Beginning in 2017, the IRS is putting safeguards into place for security. Taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity.
- Health Care Coverage Reporting. IRS e-file can help with tax provisions of the health care law. Your tax preparer will easily submit documents necessary to fulfill the Affordable Care Act.
- Payment Options. If taxpayers owe taxes, they can e-file early and set up an automatic payment on any day until the April 18 deadline. They can also pay electronically from their bank account. It’s that simple.