- Days left
If you're not filing your federal income tax returns electronically, you are in the minority. The Internal Revenue Service has seen a big jump in the number of taxpayers using e-file over the last 10 years. In 2008, almost 58% of the 155 million tax returns filed were filed electronically, and it's time for you to get on the bandwagon.

There are plenty of benefits to electronic filing, and probably the most popular is the speed with which you can receive your tax refund. If you opt for direct deposit of your refund, you can usually expect your money in one to two weeks.

If you prefer a paper check, plan on a couple of extra weeks. In contrast, those who file paper returns never know when they'll receive their refunds. It could be several weeks or a couple of months, depending on how busy the IRS is.

The other big benefit to e-filing is accuracy. If you send in a paper tax return, someone at the IRS has to key your data into their computer system to check it against other records they have on file for you, such as W-2s and 1099s. If you file electronically, that manual process is eliminated, and you are virtually assured that the information on your taxes will end up in the IRS computers exactly as you sent it.

The IRS makes it easy for everyone to e-file. Almost every tax preparer around the country (except for a few old school types) offers e-file. And if you make $54,000 or less, you're able to e-file for free with programs in which the IRS participates

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Introduction to Retirement Funds

Target date funds help you maintain a long term portfolio.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

How to Write Off Sales Taxes

For the years 2005 through 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) permits you to write off either your state and local income tax or sales taxes when itemizing your deductions. People who live in a state that does not impose income taxes often benefit most from this deduction. However, you might also be better off deducting sales taxes instead of income taxes if you make large purchases during the year and your total sales tax payments exceed those for state income tax. You can use either the actual sales taxes you paid or the IRS optional sales tax tables.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum