When you submit your taxesefile is the only way to go. efiling your taxes is an option that has been around for several years now. Each year, more and more taxpayers avail themselves of this option—and for good reason. When you e file your taxes you take advantage of a system that is quick and efficient. It is simply faster, cheaper, more convenient, more accurate and safer to file your taxes by efile than by mail.
efiling taxes is faster
Common sense tells you that the nearly instantaneous delivery of your taxes by efile is quicker (by days, weeks or even months) than placing your income tax filing in the U.S. Mail. Not only is the efile return delivered to the Internal Revenue Service faster but the return is logged in by the I.R.S. within days instead or the weeks or months it takes with a paper filing. Getting the tax efiling logged in faster results in your return being processed faster which, in turn, results in you receiving your refund faster. There is data that shows that most people who efile taxes get their refunds in 1/3 to 1/2 the time it takes for those who do their income tax filing by mail. Early efilers typically get their refunds in a few days. It is also much faster to prepare your return online than it is to fill in the paper form.
efiling taxes is cheaper and more convenient
Filing your taxes by efile is cheaper. This one is a no brainer. efiling federal taxes is FREE. Sending in a paper copy costs you money. You have to pay the mailing costs, which at a minimum include the cost of envelopes and stamp (and possibly registered mail costs so the IRS can’t claim they never received your return, and you probably have to pay for the gas to get to the post office.
It is also more convenient. When you efile taxes, you never have to leave the house. If you’re a late filer like millions of other taxpayers, it is a lot less stressful to hit the send button at 11:59 than it is to head out in the middle of the night searching for a post office that is staying open to take your return. (We won’t even talk about the cost of the speeding ticket some un-named taxpayer received trying to get to the post office before they closed for the evening).
efiling taxes is more accurate
It is a verifiable fact that taxpayers who prepare and file a paper return commit more errors in the preparation of that return than the taxpayers who efile their tax returns. The IRS says that 20% of paper tax returns have at least one significant error while electronically filed returns contain errors only 1% of the time. At best, those errors merely delay your refund or cost you money in missed deductions. At worst, mistakes in the preparation of your return can result in the assessment of penalties and interest. In addition, the IRS makes mistakes in thousands of tax returns each year by incorrectly entering the information from paper returns into their system. There is little that is more aggravating than having to spend hours straightening out a problem (or at least trying to) because of a mistake that was entirely the fault of the IRS.
efiling your taxes is safer
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the country. It results in billions of dollars in economic losses not to mention the personal problems it causes to those whose identities were stolen. Putting your most sensitive financial information into the U.S. Mail is like playing Russian roulette with your financial well-being. Every year, the Postal Service loses (“mis-places”) thousands of tax returns (depending on who you believe, this number could be in the 10s of thousands). There is no record of anyone having their identity stolen as a result of efiling their tax return. Sure the odds are your information won’t be stolen out of the U.S. Mail but why even take the chance? The consequences are far too dire to hope it won’t happen to you.
The bottom line is that efiling your tax return is better for you, better for the country and better for the environment (less paper, less trees that are cut down). Within a few years, efiling will almost certainly become mandatory. Why not get on-board this year?