As anyone over 20 probably remembers, tax filings were always a huge deal – you needed the tax code and multiple forms; not to mention, there was always the fear that you could screw it up. Today, e-filing your taxes is common and is clearly the way to go. If you’re still somewhat unsure about e-filing your taxes, take a look at all the ways in which you benefit when you take your taxes online.
You get to save money
A large segment of the taxpaying population – more than 50 million – has the simplest tax filing needs. These people don’t have complex deductions or investments. Yet, if they are able to afford it, many of these people go ahead and retain the services of a tax preparation service or a tax lawyer. They could easily use tax software to file taxes online on their own, instead, and save at least $100. You can save a lot even if you’re not eligible to file for free.
Tax time can be far easier when you file on your own
If your tax needs are simple, it’s far easier to use a simple tax software package to work your taxes out than it is to work them out on your own or even go to a service. Good software offers all the handholding you need – you need to know nothing about the tax code. Whatever the software needs to know about your tax status and financial circumstances, it has the right questions built in to gather answers with. Most of these answers only need to be filled in once. Every subsequent year that you use the software to file your taxes, you can coast with previously entered information. It becomes effortless.
Over time, you’ll gain some financial knowledge yourself
Anytime you farm out work to professionals, you lose an opportunity to learn something yourself. While the skills you learn painting your own home or doing your own insulation may not be very useful, financial knowledge always comes handy. The more comfortable you become understanding money, tax credits and deductions, the more competent you will get over time. This knowledge can transfer well when you try to consider investments or other financial decisions.
You can get your refunds more quickly
Online tax filings have their refunds processed faster than with any other method. According to the IRS, online filers receive their refunds in less than 3 weeks. When you file through regular mail, it can take months.
Your filings are less prone to error when you file online
When you file online, you have the software doing all your calculations for you – there is little room for error. The IRS is able to quickly process e-filings, too – they point out mistakes right away. If you put down the wrong Social Security numbers or made a mistake with a deduction, you get a helpful warning about it. Filing through regular snail mail, though, it can take forever to hear of a mistake.
Jeremy S has taught finance and tax topics for many years now. An avid blogger, you can find his helpful articles mainly on finance and business blogs.