Taxpayers who still file paper returns may find now is the best time to switch to efile. Last year over 85 percent of taxpayers filed their taxes electronically. Efile is the fastest and safest way to file. Now more than ever it is easy to efile your taxes.
Here are the top 7 reasons to efile your taxes:
1. 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.
The processing time is also much quicker. Weeks vs. months. Who doesn’t like faster processing?!!?
2. 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.
If you use a tax professional to e-file for you, then you’ll need to sign the electronic authorization form (Form 8879). This gives the preparer the right to electronically transmit your return. When you electronically sign this form, you should be required to verify your identity through knowledge-based authentication. This confirms that you are signing the form and helps protect against fraud.
3. 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. There’s no excuse not to efile anymore.
4. 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!
5. Prior-Year Tax Return
Taxpayers should always keep a copy of their tax returns. Beginning in 2017, the IRS put 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. They might also be required to have an identity protection PIN and to know your filing status – married filing jointly, single, head of household, etc.
6. Faster Processing Time
When electronically filing, there’s no need to worry that the IRS receives your return. This is not the case when you paper file. If you paper file, your return could sit unopened for weeks. It can literally take months for the IRS to process your return. Do you really want to sit and wait?
I would think everyone wants to be done with tax time quicker. Am I right? Efile your taxes to speed up the processing time.
7. Payment Options
If taxpayers owe taxes, they can e-file early and set up an automatic payment on any day until the April 15 deadline. They can also pay electronically from their bank account. It’s that simple.
Taxpayers can even set up electronic payments for estimated taxes and installment plans with the IRS. Nowadays electronic payments are safe and secure and can be easier to trace than mailing a check. You’ll be able to see the withdrawal from your account vs. waiting to see when a check gets cashed. If you do plan on mailing payment and/or your return, please always send it tracking and keep the receipt! This is very important to show timely filing and payment.