Electronically filing your taxes
To e-file, in simple terms means to electronically transmit a file either on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or other internet enabled technology. In the case of income taxes, to e-file means to file your tax return electronically. There are a number of benefits to filing electronically:
In addition to expediting the speed with which the IRS will receive your tax return, process it and, if eligible, work on your tax refund, electronically filing also can help reduce the number of errors in a tax return.
When printing and mailing a tax return it is advised that the taxpayer send the return using certified mail from the United States Postal Service. With that being said, you can bypass the cost to print, travel to and from the post office, as well as the cost of mailing your tax return with certified mail, by transmitting your tax filings electronically.
Finally, and most importantly to many taxpayers, when sending a tax return electronically, the taxpayer will receive confirmation from the IRS when it is accepted. The electronic process alleviates any concerns over if the return was received or not.
In order to become an authorized IRS e-file provider and transmit returns electronically, the business or organization must pass a suitability check before the IRS will assign them an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN.)
Who is E-file.com?
E-file.com is an authorized IRS e-file provider offering online income tax preparation software to US taxpayers. Our software is only provided online and without the expense of storefronts or packaged products, we can provide a more affordable filing solution than other tax software providers. This means anyone with a computer, laptop, tablet or even a phone can file their taxes with E-file.com and save.
As of 2016, according to the IRS, it had processed more than 1.5 billion e-filed tax returns thus far. Through online filing, the IRS is estimated to have saved at least 10 million dollars annually by cutting down on production costs for the paper forms and mailing them out. More importantly, online filing has helped facilitate new safety measures by working with industry tax leaders and states to protect returns from identity fraud which should help make filing easier and safer than ever.
One of the great benefits of filing with a software program like E-file.com, is that the software handles all the calculations (the math) for you. The only human error that may occur is when information is inputted incorrectly. Once the numbers are entered – the software takes over and calculations are made based on what was input.
All of our software is provided online via the cloud. There is never anything to download or install. The E-file.com website is secured with extended validation, 256 bit encryption technology, and two-factor authentication, an industry benchmark, to help protect your tax filing.
In 2017, Inc. magazine named E-file.com 79th on their list of the 5000 fastest growing private companies in the United States. This growth has been propelled by taxpayers who have become frustrated with the high costs and inconvenience of filing with "brick and mortar" or storefront tax preparers.
Q&A: What's needed to file electronically?
The information necessary to electronically file your tax return is the same as what is needed when filing a physical return. You should anticipate needing your Social Security Number, AGI from previous tax return or tax transcripts, all W-2's, information on your health insurance and any paperwork needed for expenses you plan to deduct from last year.
It's also a good idea to determine your filing status ahead of starting. If you have any questions on this, there is a tool called the Interactive Tax Assistant, which can help you determine which filing status you are. It does this through a series of interview type questions, about your marital status or death of a spouse and the costs to operate your home – particularly if you share the home with others. The estimated time to complete the interview is only 5 minutes. Unfortunately, this Tax Assistant interview does not work for non-resident taxpayers or dual-status aliens.
Once you have all the information that you need to prepare your return and have determined your filing status, you can create an account with E-file.com to enter this information. The time it takes to enter your information and complete your return will depend on your specific situation but for those with simple returns you may be able to finish in as little as 15 minutes.
Once you complete your tax return you can expect an acknowledgment from the IRS when they received it, and then again once it is accepted/rejected. These notifications will typically be provided to you through email so it is very important that you monitor your promotions, spam and junk folders in the days after transmitting your return as sometimes email clients can mistakenly delete these emails. If you see a notification email in one of these folders, make sure to click "send to inbox" or "not spam".
If you are anticipating a refund, you can visit the "Where's My Refund" tool on the IRS website (more here). Once your return has been processed you can receive status updates by putting in your Social Security Number (or Taxpayer ID), filing status and the exact amount shown on your return.