IRS TAX TIP 2012-10, January 17, 2012
IRS e-file: It’s safe. It’s easy. It’s time. Most taxpayers—nearly 80 percent-- file electronically. If you haven’t tried it, now is the time! The IRS has processed more than 1 billion individual tax returns safely and securely since the nationwide debut of electronic filing in 1990. In fact, last year, 112 million people – 78 percent of all individual taxpayers – used IRS e-file to electronically transmit their tax returns to the IRS. The number of people who use a paper tax return or who mail a tax return dwindles each year – and for good reason .
- Safety and security. E-file providers must meet strict guidelines and provide the best in encryption technology. You receive an acknowledgement within 48 hours that the IRS received your return. If the IRS rejects the return, the receipt will explain why so you can quickly correct and resubmit.
- Faster refunds. An e-filed tax return normally means a fast refund. If you combine e-file and direct deposit the IRS can typically issue your refund in as few as 10 days. About three of four taxpayers receive a refund and last year the average refund was approximately $2,900.
- More payment options. If you e-file you can file early and set an automatic payment withdrawal date for any date on or before the April due date. You may also pay by paper check or even by credit card.
- It’s easy. You can e-file through your tax preparer, use commercial tax preparation software or through Free File, the free tax preparation and e-filing service available exclusively at www.irs.gov.
Starting in January 2012, any paid preparer or firm that reasonably anticipates preparing and filing 11 or more Form 1040 series returns, Form 1041 returns or a combination of both generally must use IRS e-file. These tax return preparers must be authorized IRS e-file providers so they can transmit tax returns electronically. More information for paid preparers is available at www.irs.gov.