Three Reasons to Prepare and File Your Taxes Using e-File

Last year, 2 out of 3 tax returns were filed electronically. Was yours? If not, here are three important reasons to e-file your return.

  1. It’s fast Your tax return will get processed more quickly if you use e-file.  If there is an error on your return, it will typically be identified and can be corrected right away.  If you file electronically and choose to have your tax refund deposited directly into your bank account, you will have your money in as few as 10 days.
  2. It’s safe When you file a tax return electronically, the IRS is fully committed to protecting your information on our tax processing systems.
  3. It’s time Don’t miss out on the benefits of e-file, 2 out of 3 taxpayers, 95 million, already get the benefits of e-file.


Three Reasons to Prepare and File Your Taxes Using e-File

E-file software reduces the chance of making errors when you prepare your return.  However, some people still print the computer generated return and mail it to the IRS instead of hitting the “Send” button.  By mailing the return, taxpayers miss out on some important benefits of IRS e-file.

  • With e-file, you get the peace of mind that comes with the electronic receipt you’ll receive notifying you that the IRS received your tax return.
  • Virtually everyone can prepare a return and file it for free.  For the second year, the IRS and its partners are offering the option of Free File Fillable Forms. Another option is Traditional Free File.  About 98 million taxpayers – 70% of all taxpayers – are eligible for the IRS Traditional Free File.  Traditional Free File is a service offered by software companies and the IRS in partnership to provide free tax preparation software and free filing.
  • E-file is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the convenience of your own home.
  • If you owe money to the IRS, e-file also allows you to file your tax return early and delay payment up until the due date.
  • In 37 states and the District of Columbia, you can simultaneously e-file your federal and state tax returns.

Read more about e-file.

File Taxes Online Free

You may be eligible for free tax filing!

The IRS estimates that 70 percent of all taxpayers (about 98 million taxpayers) will be eligible to file federal taxes online for free this year!

Only 4.8 million tax returns were filed through Free File last year, an increase of 24 percent over the previous year’s total of nearly 3.9 million returns, but still way below the number of people who are eligible to file taxes online for free!

Depending upon your adjusted gross income and on how complicated your taxes are, you may be eligible to file taxes online free. For example, if you do not need to itemize and you only have a few standard deductions such as claiming the Earned Income Credit (EIC), you may be eligible.

Be sure when you start your free tax filing using any of the listed tax programs (at right or below) that you start with the Free Version to see if you are eligible to file your federal taxes online for free.


e-File and Direct Deposit

Be sure to e-file and use direct deposit. You will receive your tax refund much quicker by filing your taxes electronically and having the refund direct deposited. The IRS typically claims it will take between 8 – 15 days to receive your direct deposit, but we have seen it typically be 7 – 10 days. Direct deposits are usually received on Fridays, but your bank may differ depending on how fast they handle direct deposits.

Certain tax programs allow you to split your refund, so you could have half deposited into your checking and half in your savings account. Some even allow you to deposit into three accounts such as savings, checking and an IRA.