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The IRS is open for business: why e-filing is a smart choice

By TaxAct

Updated for tax year 2017

The IRS officially kicked off the 2018 tax season today, marking the first day the agency begins accepting both e-filed and paper income tax returns.

If you’ve already completed your 2017 return – great! Your return is one of the first in line for processing by the IRS.

If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, don’t fret – you have plenty of time to get started.

In fact, you can easily begin today by selecting the 2017 TaxAct product that best fits your tax situation.

Choosing to electronically file (e-file) your tax return is the quickest and most efficient way to submit your taxes to the IRS. But, that’s not the only reason you should consider e-filing your return this year. Here are a few more reasons e-filing is the way to go.

Fast and accurate filing: no math required

When you e-file using tax software such as TaxAct, you can complete your return faster and with greater accuracy. That’s because tax software does the math for you and guides you through every step of your return, helping you identify opportunities for tax savings.

In addition, the IRS can process your return faster when you e-file. You don’t have to rely on snail mail, which tacks on time before the IRS has your return in hand.

Plus, e-filing lessens the risk of someone at the IRS mistyping your information from a paper form into their system, reducing the likelihood of an error on your return.

Get your refund faster

If you’re due a refund, e-filing usually means your money will hit your bank account much quicker. According to the IRS, that’s because “there is nothing to mail and your return is virtually free of mistakes.”

This year, taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) and expect to receive a refund, will have to wait until after mid-February to get it.

If you claim either credit it’s still a good idea to prepare your return early and e-file it. That’s because early e-filing will land you at the front of the line when the IRS starts processing returns. To learn more about the delay, read the related blog post, Refunds delayed for some early filers this tax season.

Receive confirmation

One of the main benefits of e-filing is that you can elect to get an electronic confirmation when the IRS receives your tax return.

No more waiting and wondering if the return you gave to the mailman has reached its intended destination. Once you file your return using TaxAct and it’s accepted by the IRS, we’ll send you an email or text notification letting you know processing is underway.

Ah, nothing better than the power of technology!

E-file now, pay later

It is a common misconception that you have to pay any taxes owed when you e-file your return. In truth, you have flexibility.

You can pay amounts owed when you e-file, or you can e-file early and set up an automatic payment to be made on the tax deadline (April 17, 2018). Payments can be sent electronically from your bank account, with a check, through a money order or by credit card.

Stay organized

Using DIY software to file your taxes creates a permanent electronic record of your return. This allows you to easily access it for future use – like when tax time rolls around next year. You can simply import your 2017 tax return data into the new one to save time.

Plus, let’s be honest, it’s much easier to keep track of a digital copy saved on your computer than having to track down a paper copy. With TaxAct, once you file this year’s return, you can access it for seven years at no charge. Goodbye cluttered filing cabinets!

Keep more money in your pocket when e-filing

Don’t spend more money than necessary to file your income tax return. With just a little comparison shopping, it’s easy to identify affordable options.

To start your comparison, check out the 2017 TaxAct product pricing.

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