E-file is a system for submitting tax documents to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service through the internet or direct connection, usually without the need to submit any paper documents. Tax preparation software with e-filing capabilities are available as stand alone programs or through websites or tax professionals from major software vendors for commercial use.
Of the 139.3 million U.S. returns filed in 2007, 79.98 million (or about 57.4 percent) were filed electronically. In 2010, a total of 129.3 million U.S. returns were filed, and 93.4 million were filed electronically. Thus, the percentage of returns filed electronically increased to 72.3 percent of total returns.
Taxpayers can e-file for free using the IRS Free File service, either using an authorized IRS e-file provider's tax software product, if eligible, or by using online fillable forms.
The IRS started electronic filing in 1986 to lower operating costs and paper usage. Since then IRS E-filing has evolved adding new feature along the way. In 1987 Electronic Direct Deposit was added as a form of payment. Milestones have been set and broken throughout the years. In 1990 4.2 million returns were reached and in recent years a record of 1 billion 1040's have been E-filed..E-filing has become one of best modernizing creations made by a government agency. E-filing originally used the processing system developed in 1969 by the IRS but, since 2003, the IRS has been developing a new enhanced processing system called CADE.
Types of e-File providers
The IRS accepts electronic submission of a variety of Tax Forms using their IRS Authorized e-file Providers. The IRS offers e-filing to most from's ranging from 1040's to 2290's to 990n's.
Individuals have the option of both free and paid tax software. Recently a feature from the IRS called FreeFile has made its way in allowing users to file theyre 1040's absolutely free. Other options are going through authorized efile companies that will file your 1040's with a service charge. FreeFile is free for all but it's an easy step by step system for those who make less than $60,000 and a more task heavy form of filing for those who make above $60,000. If you do make more than $60,000 a year then the FreeFile will then involve not an easy step by step system but a 1040 itself that can be filled out box by box electronically. IRS
Businesses and self-employed tax-payers have a variety of e-file services available depending on their individual needs. Some of the forms that fall under business returns include: 2290's for truck tax, 1099's for worker, interest and or mortgages, ect. The practicality of filing these forms depends on the e-file company's software. Some are more easier to use then others. IRS has no set pricing for each form so each filing company set they're own price accordingly. IRS has list of authorized websites that do e-filing for some forms. This makes e-filing a very competitive game specially when it comes to 1099's and 2290's, Some e-file providers like tax2efile.com and expresstaxone.com as well as other offer more than one e-filing forms covering 1099's, 8849, 2290's. There are companies that cover just a single form for e-filing IRS
Tax-exempt organization returns
Tax Exempt Organizations may file the annual information return IRS Form 990, Form 990-EZ and Form 990-N with a variety of independent tax software providers. Just like the business returns set prices are not made and each e-filing company sets they're own. The practicality of the e-file depends on which company you choose to e-file with. IRS
In order to become an IRS e-filer provider you must be authorized. The IRS has been doing e-file for decades and in recent years the amount of e-filers have been increasing. The IRS provides a list on some forms on e-file providers. 2290 (Also known as Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax) is the most sought out list, it will have 2290 e-file providers. The IRS changes the order of the list on the daily so that its more fair to others. IRS E-file providers page
- Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee
- Electronic tax records
- Free File Alliance
- Refund anticipation loan
- Modernized e-File
- "Another record-breaking number of taxpayers choose to electronically file in 2007, Internal Revenue Service, November 7, 2007
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