Filing taxes is one of those things that most people dread once a year. Why? Because tax codes are complex, there are a ton of forms and doing them incorrectly can be costly. That’s why so many choose to file online, as opposed to lugging a binder full of receipts and pay stubs to an accounting office.
The real reason filing taxes online, or e-filing, has become so popular is because it’s quick, easy and everything gets processed faster. Here’s the breakdown of the benefits of e-filing:
Convenience of filing taxes online
Gone are the days of making an appointment with your accounting office and waiting around while they punch a calculator in between asking for your signature.
You can file online from anywhere. Web-based tax programs only require an internet connection and therefore make everywhere your tax office. Even with locally downloaded programs, taxes can still be filed anywhere you take that computer.
The step-by-step programs give users the confidence that they’re not missing anything and won’t be subject to any penalties for inaccuracy. You can even start filing, get as far as your time allows, save what you’ve already done and return to it at a later time. All in all, filing online is just more convenient.
Electronic records of tax forms
It’s best practice to keep records of your taxes up to seven years out. Throwing out old tax records can be risky, though, and open you up for identity theft if they’re not disposed of properly. On the other hand, that stack of past taxes will continue to grow and grow each year, taking up more and more space. Fingers crossed for no floods or fires.
E-filing allows you to keep as many years of history as you want, stored securely online and not taking up any physical space in drawers or folders. This makes information easy to retrieve when you need it.
Everything processes faster when you file online. You won’t have to read the instructions for each form you’re filing and determine which number goes in which box. E-filing asks simple and intuitive questions, makes it clear where to input information and fills out the proper forms on its own in the back-end.
Electronic signatures even make it so that you don’t have to write your name a million times in order to file. Simply draw your signature on your devices trackpad, and then copy and paste it when indicated to do so.
Beyond the time that you spend in front of your computer actually filing your tax returns, completing them online also means that the information gets passed on the back-end faster, as well. As soon as you finish your end, that information is sent directly to the IRS immediately. This eliminates any wait-time for the postal service to deliver the documents, the IRS mail room to sort them and then eventually get them to someone who can approve them.
It also means that, if you get a refund, you’ll get that back faster as well. Not only because the tax return information can be processed more quickly, but also because features like direct deposit make it so that your tax refunds are automatically wired to your bank account, as opposed to being at the mercy of the postal service and having to wait for a physical check.
Accuracy of filing taxes online
The most important part about filing taxes is accuracy. Giving incomplete or incorrect information to the IRS can result in hefty fines, penalties and even jail time. Filing online ensures that, as long as the information you input is accurate, the forms sent to the IRS will be accurate.
In many cases, the e-filing program has an accuracy guarantee where, if there are any mistakes, they have the responsibility of correcting them and incurring any fees.
More money for your tax refund
One of the main advantages of e-filing taxes is that tax programs, like TaxSlayer, are built to save you the most money. TaxSlayer looks for deductions and tax breaks that you qualify for and suggests them to you before finishing. In many cases, people learn that they qualify for additional savings by using TaxSlayer which not only saves them money on their tax returns but also finds opportunities to boost your tax refund.