- 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

Intro to Retirement

Get started early planning for your long term future.

View Course »

Building Credit from Scratch

Start building credit...now.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Top 6 Tax Tips for Sharing Economy Freelancers

It's never been easier to earn a few extra dollars: Whether you drive for a ride-share company like Uber, rent out a room through a rental service such as Airbnb, or work for a company like TaskRabbit that outsources small jobs, errands and tasks?being a freelancer in the sharing economy means you may have one or more micro-enterprises or small businesses going on. And, just as your full-time job does, these endeavors often result in tax obligations people often overlook.

Claiming Property Taxes on Your Tax Return

If you pay taxes on your personal property and owned real estate, they may be deductible from your federal income tax bill. Most state and local tax authorities calculate property taxes based on the value of the homes located within their areas, and some agencies also tax personal property. If you pay either type of property tax, claiming the tax deduction is a simple matter of itemizing your personal deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040.

Side-Giggers: Tax Tips for Side Jobs

Having a side gig can help you make ends meet or build your rainy day fund. Income from freelance work, running your own small business or working at a second job brings in extra income without requiring you to quit your day job. But, like your main source of income, a second job or side gig must be reported on Form 1040 at tax time.

Tax Aspects of Home Ownership: Selling a Home

Though most home-sale profit is now tax-free, there are still steps you can take to maximize the tax benefits of selling your home. Learn how to figure your gain, factoring in your basis, home improvements and more.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum