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IRS makes returns easier with e-filing

Posted: January 22, 2009 7:47 p.m.
Updated: January 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Most taxpayers and tax preparers this year will use IRS e-file for their tax returns or get extensions of time to file.

During this process, they will not have to send a single scrap of paper to the IRS.

The IRS expects the total number of individual tax returns, both electronic and paper, to reach about 140 million in 2009. And it expects e-file returns to exceed last year's record of nearly 90 million taxpayers.

E-filers enjoy these benefits:
n Faster refunds: With the e-file option, taxpayers get refunds in half the time it takes to file a paper tax return and receive a refund check. E-filers who choose direct deposit can receive their refund in as few as 10 days.

  •  Paperless transaction: A taxpayer eliminates paperwork by creating his or her own Personal Identification Number (PIN) and filing a paperless return using tax preparation software or a tax professional. There is nothing to mail to the IRS.


  •  File now, pay later options: Taxpayers can file early and pay later by scheduling an electronic funds withdrawal any time through April 15. Taxpayers can also pay by credit or debit card when they e-file their returns.

By enrolling in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, taxpayers can make all federal tax payments online or by phone.

  • More accurate returns: In addition to the error checks built into return preparation software, additional checks are done during the transmission of soft-ware enabled e-file returns. These checks reduce the chance a taxpayer will receive an error letter from the IRS.


  • Quick electronic confirmation: E-filers are notified that their returns have been received.


  • Convenient Federal/State e-filing: Taxpayers in 38 states and the District of Columbia can e-file their federal and state tax returns in one transmission to the IRS. The IRS forwards the state data to the appropriate state tax agency.

In 2008, 46 million taxpayers filed federal-state electronic returns in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

The Web site address is E-file is available now through Oct. 15, 2009. The IRS provided this information to The Signal.


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