E-Filing: The Easiest Way to Do Your Taxes
Faster, easier, less stressful all around. Are you e-filing yet?
I, for one, will miss the paper age. One day my books will be replaced with an e-reader and newspapers are already going the way of the dodo. One thing I won’t miss? Doing my taxes the old-fashioned way. Flipping through 8 different booklets to find out what to write on each line, making sure not to make any smudges, having to do math and then hoping the packet I sent via snail mail doesn’t get lost in the millions of other tax returns. Then there’s the waiting, of course. The weeks sometimes months that would pass until I got that check in the mail so I could go buy new clothes.
If you consider the money the IRS holds on to while you wait for your refund as an interest free loan, then you’ll realize that you are losing money. No one other than the IRS can get an interest free loan and that doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Enter the internet. The tedious paperwork was out the window and quick and easy filing was in. That’s why I have been filing my taxes online for a few years now. It’s so much easier to fill out the forms and I get my return so much faster. Here are a few reasons why I switched; maybe it’s time you do to!
We’ve Come A Long Way Since the Pony Express
Snail mail. Funny that we call it that, when the USPS has been delivering important documents and birthday cards since it was just a few guys on horses running through the prairies. And now we think trucks and planes are slow. Still, riders get delayed, trucks break down, storms block roads and close airports and things get lost or stolen. E-filing takes all of that out of the equation. When you push the button, your return is sent straight to the IRS. And they have good servers, so things don’t get lost!
Oops! To Err is Human…
If you send a paper version of your tax return, a human has to enter that data into a computer. Let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes. If you’ve ever been to the DMV, you’ve seen the glazed eyes of our unsung civil servants and we all know that boredom causes a lack of attention to detail. The downside is: you are the one who will have to fight off an audit if a mistake gets made. If you e-file, you have total control over what gets entered into the system.
If you’re a math idiot like me, adding line x to line y then multiplying that by %z and then totaling it all up and dividing it by your favorite cousin’s lucky number minus your shoe size… well that’s what it seems like to me. That’s why I am happy to just let my computer do the math for me. I can’t make any calculation errors and the tax software also checks my work one more time just in case. And for genuine math dummies like me, most of the tax software providers have some sort of guarantee that the calculations on your return are accurate.
When Will They Show Me the Money?
When you mail your return to the IRS, they may take months to send you your refund check or make the deposit into your account. If you e-file, you usually get your refund within a week or two. If you have an overdue bill to pay, time is of the essence. If just want a new toy, it’s like waiting for Christmas!
Is it Safe?
Believe it or not, e-filing is very safe, maybe even safer than snail mail. The security measures that new servers have these days are too hard for hackers to want to even deal with. At the same time, it’s not that hard to open an envelope and read a credit card application. So if you’re worried about identity theft, e-filing is a good way to go.
Some People Like Making Their Life Harder
If you just can’t get enough frustration and you just love pulling your hair out, then e-filing is not for you. If you want a stress-free tax experience, e-filing is the best way to go! Most basic tax returns are free to file, so why not go and test one of these tax software providers. Have a look around their systems and see which one is right for you. It’s convenient, accurate and won’t break the bank.