Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Module 13: Electronic Tax Return Preparation and Transmission



Additional Information

Increased accuracy
An important benefit of the electronic preparation of tax returns is the reduction of errors. The error rate in electronically prepared returns is significantly lower than that of manually prepared returns.

Ease of use
Tax preparation software is easy to use. Most tax preparation software uses expert systems, known as wizards, to help with return preparation. The wizard guides the preparer through the steps of completing the tax return.

Ability to prepare federal and state returns at same time
Using tax preparation software, many taxpayers can prepare both the federal and state returns at the same time.

Your chances of getting an error notice are significantly reduced.

With electronic filing, taxpayer privacy and security are ensured.

Paperless with the self-select PIN option
Electronic filing reduces the paper used to file tax returns. It is environmentally friendly. A taxpayer creates his or her own Personal Identification Number (PIN) and files a completely paperless return.

Electronic acknowledgment
Within 48 hours of transmission, the IRS sends an electronic acknowledgment that the return was received and accepted for processing.

Direct deposit for faster refunds
Taxpayers who file electronically receive refunds faster than those who transmit returns through the mail. If the taxpayer chooses the Direct Deposit option, the refund is received in less than half the time of a mailed return. E-filers who choose Direct Deposit can receive their refund in as few as 10 days.

Free/low-cost filing
Free or low-cost filing options are available to qualified taxpayers. Check out the IRS Web site at

Electronic funds withdrawal for payments
Taxpayers who file electronically can arrange to have the balance due paid by scheduling an electronic funds withdrawal from their checking or savings accounts. A taxpayer with a balance due can file his or her tax return early and arrange to have the funds paid later (up to ten days before the due date of the tax return) or pay by credit card.

Able to transmit federal and state taxes at same time
Prepare and file both federal and state returns together, and double the benefits you get from e-file. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia participate in the Federal/State e-file Program.


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