- Days left

Nine Tips for E-filing Your Tax Return

Tax preparer and client ready to e-file a returnWith less than a month to go before Tax Day, more taxpayers are considering e-filing their federal income tax returns. The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file, citing it as the "safest, fastest and easiest way to submit their individual tax returns." Last year, nearly 100 million taxpayers took them up on it; since 1990, taxpayers have e-filed nearly 1 billion individual federal income tax returns.

With e-file, taxpayers can avoid common filing mistakes. This doesn't mean, however, that you shouldn't be careful. Following are a few e-filing tips to help you get your return to the IRS safely this tax season:
  • Organize your records before you begin. You'll need your current year tax documents as well as last year's tax return.
  • Sign your return. Yes, you'll "sign" your e-filed return, too, by entering last year's adjusted gross income or a five digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) that you create. To create a PIN, go to the IRS website and fill out its secure form.
  • Pay your taxes. If you e-file and you owe, you can send a check to the U.S. Treasury, pay by credit card or authorize an electronic funds withdrawal.
  • Get your refund. If you e-file and you're due a refund, you can arrange to have your check mailed to you or get it faster with direct deposit.
  • Be secure. If you e-file your tax return using third party online software, make sure that the connection is secure (one telltale sign is "https" in the URL).
  • Use common sense. If you use a shared computer, such as a computer at a public library, make sure you log out from the program and clear out the Web browser cache. It's recommended, however, that for the best security, you not use a shared computer.
  • Consider using an authorized IRS e-file provider. If you opt not to e-file on your own, you can use the Authorized IRS e-file Provider Locator to find a tax professional who has been accepted into the IRS electronic filing program.
  • Remember that the IRS doesn't charge to e-file. While your tax professional or software provider may charge a fee, the IRS doesn't charge a fee for electronic filing. If you qualify for free tax services, you may be able to e-file and not pay a thing.
  • Be careful. Finally, remember, if you receive an email purporting to be from the IRS that requires a response, do not click on it or respond directly. The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Basics Of The Stock Market

Stock Market 101 - everything you need to know but were afraid to ask!

View Course »

Introduction to Retirement Funds

Target date funds help you maintain a long term portfolio.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Video: Tax Filing Requirements for Children

Depending on how much money they made during the year, your children may very well have to file for taxes. Learn about tax filing requirements for children with help from TurboTax in this video on tax tips.

Are Losses on a Roth IRA Tax Deductible?

When the value of your investments in a Roth IRA (Roth Individual Retirement Account) decreases, you might wonder if there is a way to write off those losses on your federal income tax return. Find out what you can and can't write off when it comes to your Roth IRA.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum