Gone are the days of struggling to fill in form after form with pencil and paper to file your yearly taxes. These days, filing your taxes can be as easy as answering a few questions with the click of a mouse and sending them off electronically.
But why should you file them electronically? Can it really be better than manually preparing your taxes and sending them in the mail to the IRS?
The IRS has reported that more than 128 million returns were e-filed in 2015, which is about 91 percent of tax returns filed, and over 50 million taxpayers prepared and e-filed their federal tax returns themselves. Those numbers have only continued to grow each year, marking the popularity of e-filing.
While you may still be resistant to joining the multitude of taxpayers e-filing, here's why you should jump in their bandwagon:
- It's easy. Going through all the tax forms to file your taxes on paper can be intimidating, but e-filing takes all the guesswork out of tax season. Tax software is user-friendly and intuitive, and allows you to file your taxes correctly without any knowledge of tax laws. By asking you questions the software adds credits and tax deductions you're eligible to receive and can even transfer relevant information from previous returns.
- It's secure. IRS e-file meets strict security guidelines and uses secure encryption to protect tax returns. Mailing in your tax return can have a much higher risk of theft and anyone with access to the envelope could quickly acquire your name, address and Social Security Number, including those of your spouse or dependents.
- You can file from anywhere. While we would never recommend you file your taxes out in public, with wi-fi and a place to sit you could virtually file your taxes from anywhere. That means whether you're in your sweats at home or on a work trip far from home, you have the flexibility to get those taxes done.
- You can ensure better accuracy. Using tax software to e-file helps you avoid making mistakes by doing the math for you. The software guides you through steps and questions as you do your taxes and addresses new tax law changes like health care provisions so you can be sure you've done them correctly. E-filing also saves an IRS agent from having to manually input your information into their system, resulting in fewer data entry errors.
- Receive faster refunds. E-filing is the fastest way to get your refund, because e-returns generally have fewer errors and the time it would take for a return to be mailed and delivered is eliminated. The IRS reports that nine of 10 taxpayers will receive their refunds within 21 days or less of e-filing.
- You can be sure the IRS has received your return. We think this is one of the most beneficial advantages: once the IRS has received your return they send you an acknowledgement of receipt, with paper returns, the IRS doesn't send anything out.
Identity Guard is committed to helping you not only protect yourself from identity theft, but also understand how it can happen. Count on us to get tips and advice to help guard against all sorts of identity related fraud, including tax fraud.