Filing your taxes is easier than ever with eFile, the online tax filing service provided by the IRS. Although there are many people who still file the traditional way by snail mail, as many as 73 million taxpayers filed their taxes online in 2006. In fact, there is little reason to ever mail your taxes in again.
The Benefits of Online Tax Filing
Each year, the benefits of online tax filing gets better and better. For example, in 2007, the IRS has set up "Free File". This program allows individuals who make less than $ 52,000 a year to file their taxes online free. In other instances, the price of filing online is as low as $ 19.95.
Other than the price of online tax filing, you'll find that filing your taxes on your own is much easier with eFile. You'll simply have to gather your W2s, 1099's and other documents and you're ready to go. Typically, you'll be using tax filing software or web-based programs online. These programs will walk you through the steps, including the forms you will use, like the 1040A or 1040EZ. And if you need help, all you have to do is click a button. Even individuals who have never filed taxes before can quickly fill in the blanks with the step-by-step instructions given.
If you prefer to file your taxes with an accountant or tax specialist, eFile will come in handy when it comes to receiving withholdings or paying taxes that are due. To use eFile, just tell your tax professional that you'd like to eFile your taxes this year. When you file your taxes online, you have the choice of receiving your refund by direct deposit. Simply fill in your routing number and checking account number when asked. The best part is that your money will arrive in about half the time it normally takes. Plus, you can skip the line at the bank!
What You Need to File Your Taxes Online
If you decide to file your taxes via your home computer, you'll need internet access, your social security number, W2s and 1099s and documents for your assignments. You should also have last year's adjusted Gross Income ready as a security check. Finally, visit the IRS website for a list of sites that offer online tax filing for little or no charge. Once you choose the right place, just fill in the blanks and select "eFile" when asked. If you choose to receive your refund by direct deposit, have a personal check ready so you can type in your routing and account numbers.
If you choose to have your taxes filed by a tax preparer, bring in all the necessary documents such as your W2's, 1099's, receipts, checking account information (for direct deposit) and last year's tax paperwork. Your tax professional will do the rest. Just remember him or her that you'd like to eFile.
The Bottom Line
With the online tax filing programs the IRS has put in place, there is nothing to lose by filing your taxes online. There is no risk of mail getting lost and never reaching its destination. Step-by-step instructions will help you avoid mistakes and help is available immediately. In addition, paying taxes is much easier and receiving a refund is much quicker. You'll save yourself a lot of time and hassle, especially if you usually file taxes on your own. Simply put, online tax filing is the new standard for filing your income taxes!