For taxpayers who still file a paper return, there is no better time to switch to e-file. The IRS expects 90 percent of individual taxpayers to file electronically in 2018. Choosing e-file and direct deposit for refunds remains the fastest and safest way to file a complete and accurate income tax return and receive a refund.
Here are the top six reasons why taxpayers should file electronically in 2018:
- It is accurate and easy. E-file software helps taxpayers avoid mistakes by doing the math. It guides filers through each section of their tax return. The software uses a question-and-answer format that makes doing taxes easier.
- It is secure. E-file meets strict security guidelines. It uses modern encryption technology to protect tax returns. The IRS continues to work with states and tax industry leaders to protect tax returns from identity theft refund fraud. This effort has helped to put strong safeguards in place to make tax filing a safe and secure option.
- It is convenient. Taxpayers can buy commercial tax software to e-file right from their home computer. They can also ask their tax preparer to e-file their tax return. Most paid preparers must file their clients’ returns electronically.
- Most e-filers get their refunds faster. When someone files electronically, there is nothing to mail and the return is virtually mistake-free. This means the fastest way for a taxpayer to get a refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit.
- It’s often free. Many taxpayers can e-file for free through IRS Free File. Free File is only available on IRS.gov. Some taxpayers may also qualify to have their taxes e-filed for free through IRS volunteer programs. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offers free tax preparation to people who generally earned $54,000 or less. Tax Counseling for the Elderly generally helps people who are age 60 or older.
- There are several options for making payments. Taxpayers who owe taxes can e-file early and set up an automatic payment on any day until the April deadline. They can pay electronically from their bank account with IRS Direct Pay. Taxpayers can visit IRS.gov/payments for information on the other payment options.