Home » FOCUS » Electronic filing the new standard

Electronic filing the new standard

XX - EVEN Page 09.18.06With the tax agreement finally reached this week by Congress, the Internal Revenue Service is preparing to move forward with training its customer service employees, modifying forms and publications and programming its computers to align with the changes to the tax law.

And although income tax season is looming, there is still time for any necessary adjustments.

Before the deal was reached, IRS spokesperson Dee Harris Stepter said, “In reality, most taxpayers will not file until they receive their W-2 statements and other income documents, which are not required to be issued until the end of January.”

Stepter advises taxpayers to monitor the website www.IRS.gov, because as soon as the IRS gets new information, it will post it there.

There is no doubt that millions of taxpayers, including many in Mississippi, will file online. The number grows every year, according to the IRS.

The IRS estimated that almost 100 million taxpayers submitted their individual tax returns using IRS e-file. The process now is considered mainstream: nearly 1 billion 1040 forms have been e-filed since 1990.

“For Mississippi, we received 1,032,013 (individual) returns electronically through June 8, 2012. From the start of the 2011 filing season to this same point in the 2011 filing season, we had received 985,819 returns electronically,” said Stepter.

Free File, available on www.IRS.gov, let’s you do your federal taxes electronically at no charge.

Taxpayers whose income is $57,000 or less can use brand name software to prepare their taxes and then e-file them, all at no charge thanks to participating tax software companies who make their products available for free. Some of the programs can be used to file state tax forms for no charge, as well.

Electronic versions of the traditional paper tax forms are available to any taxpayer, regardless of income. This method is popular with filers who are used to doing their own federal tax returns and may need help with basic math. This option doesn’t include state tax returns.

Of course you can buy your own commercial tax software in a store or online and e-file your prepared return in the same secure manner. The IRS advises consumers to shop around since software prices do vary.

If you’d rather pay someone prepare your taxes for you and then file electronically, that’s another option. The IRS says that just about all tax professionals are using e-file but suggests you tell the preparer in advance that you want to file electronically just to be sure. The IRS website will help you find an e-file provider.

E-filing also is available for the owners of large as well as small businesses and the self-employed.

The IRS claims a 99 percent accuracy rate on the e-filings, and owners will be notified within

48 hours that their return was received. Filers also can authorize payment by electronic withdrawal from savings or checking accounts or charge their taxes on a credit card.

If you’re new to the IRS website, assistance is available through the IRS.gov Help Desk at (800) 876-1715. They can guide you around the website and help you find the forms you need.

If you have tax-related questions and still can’t find the answers after checking out the website, call the IRS toll-free tax assistance line at (800) 829-1040 for individual tax questions or (800) 829-4933 for business tax questions. It’s open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Central Time).

BEFORE YOU GO…

… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Lisa Monti

Leave a Reply