Online Income Tax Filing
As the end of the year nears it is time again to get your tax information in order so you can quickly file your return. It will not be long before January comes along and you will be getting your W-2's and 1099's in the mail. Back in the days of paper returns people would have to wait weeks to get their refunds. Now with e-filing the time to get your refund can be reduced to about one week or so.
When it first came out e-filing ( electronic income tax return filing )was slow to take hold. Some were scared about their information going to the government electronically while others just did not know how to use the software. With the filing getting easier and people becoming convinced it is safe to use electronic income tax return filing to compile their returns, more and more people that ever before are using the computer to file.
Many CPA's are a big proponent of the IRS E File system since they can use software to complete and submit clients tax returns much quicker. The more returns they do the more money they make so the cost of IRS E File is often seen as just a cost of doing business. It is also deductible so that is even better.
For those looking to do tax returns by themselves, do not be afraid of the complicated forms that you used to get in the library. If you are under certain income restrictions you can use the IRS's Free File program that they sponsor through various organizations. This allows you to use the tax programs these companies offer and file for free. Yes, 100% free. They will often try to get you to pay for the state return, but there is no need since some states will offer free filing on their own websites. For example, Ohio has I-File, which is a totally free state tax return site for the people there.
In a few years it will probably be a requirement to complete your federal income tax return online. The IRS does not like paper because of the amount of man hours it takes to file them. There budget is strained like most other people and it is much easier to pay for the systems needed to handle the electronic returns that to pay wages to human workers over and over again.
The benefits to the tax payers include faster refunds, instant error checks, and spending less time doing something no one likes to do.
While E-File is a great resource, it is not for everybody. Complicated tax returns involving real estate, LLC's, partnerships, S-Corps, and things involving depletion of natural resources are all very complicated tax topics that should be further researched by a qualified accountant or CPA. If you are unsure of what to do, the best bet is to contact a professional. It will save you money in the long run.