Are you one of the few tax filers who still file a paper return? If so, now may be the best time to switch to e-file. Last year almost 129 million taxpayers filed their taxes electronically. They chose to e-file because it’s the fastest and safest way to file.
Here are the top six reasons why you should file electronically in 2016:
- Accurate and Easy. IRS e-file is the best way to file an accurate tax return. The tax software helps you avoid mistakes by doing the math for you. It guides you through each section of your tax return. It is much easier than doing your taxes by hand and mailing paper tax forms.
- Safe and Secure. IRS e-file meets strict security guidelines. It uses modern encryption technology to protect tax returns. The IRS has processed more than 1.5 billion e-filed tax returns to date. This year, the IRS is working with states and tax industry leaders to protect your tax return from identity theft refund fraud. This new effort has put strong new safeguards in place to make tax filing safer than ever before.
- Convenient and Often Free. You can e-file for free through IRS Free File. Free File is only available on IRS.gov. You may qualify to have your taxes e-filed for free through IRS volunteer programs. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, offers free tax preparation if you earned $54,000 or less. Tax Counseling for the Elderly, or TCE, generally helps people who are age 60 or older. You can buy commercial tax software to e-file or ask your tax preparer to e-file your tax return. Most paid preparers are required to file their clients’ returns electronically.
- Faster Refunds. In most cases, e-file helps get your refund faster. That’s because there is nothing to mail and your tax return is virtually mistake-free. The fastest way to get your refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit into your bank account. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.
- Health Care Tax Reporting. IRS e-file can help with tax provisions of the health care law. The software will walk you through the lines on the tax forms that relate to the Affordable Care Act.
- Payment Options. If you owe taxes, you can e-file early and set up an automatic payment on any day until the April 18 deadline. You can pay electronically from your bank account with IRS Direct Pay. You also have many other options to pay, including electronic funds withdrawal or payment by debit or credit card. Visit IRS.gov/payments for details.