e-file with Commercial Software
e-file is short for electronic tax return filing. It includes both preparing taxes electronically using tax software and filing taxes electronically. You can pay electronically, too.
Doing Your Taxes
Gather your tax information (SSNs, W-2s, 1099s, etc.). Buy tax software either off-the-shelf or online. The software's question and answer format makes doing taxes much easier than filling out tax forms.
Signing Your Taxes
Electronically filed returns must be signed electronically. You verify your identity by entering last year's adjusted gross income or a five digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) that you create yourself. This makes your return more secure and completely paperless. To create your PIN and get more information on signing your return, go to Electronic Filing PIN Help.
Filing Your Taxes
When you hit "send," your return will be securely transmitted through an IRS-approved electronic channel. It is not sent by e-mail because e-mail is not as safe as our secure channels.
As part of the delivery process, IRS computers automatically check your return for mistakes. If we find easy-to-fix mistakes, like a math error or a wrong social security number, we immediately send it back to you. You can fix it and send it right back. This saves time and prevents a simple mistake from holding up your refund.
Paying Your Taxes
We offer several convenient, safe and secure ways to pay your taxes electronically.
- e-file and pay in a single step by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal and get an acknowledgement as soon as we accept your payment;
- pay by credit card; or,
- mail a check or money order (made out to the United States Treasury) using Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher.
With e-file, you can file as soon as you are ready but schedule your payment for any date up until April 15th, 2013. To find out more, go to electronic payment option
Getting Your Refund
Go to Where's My Refund? on the right side of the IRS.gov home page to find out where your refund is in the IRS processing pipeline. You'll need your SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), filing status and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund.
Not sure you want to do your taxes yourself? Go back to e-file for Individuals.