HOW CAN I E-FILE (Electronic File)?
Most taxpayers, whether they have their return done professionally or prepare
it themselves manually or on computer, can elect to file their tax return electronically
through a network of EROs (Electronic Return Originators) approved by the Internal
Revenue Service. This network includes many accountants, tax preparation services,
return transmission services, and some employers and financial institutions.
TaxLogic will be providing Electronic Filing (E-FILING) for all taxpayers who
have their taxes prepared online via TaxLogic's Internet site (http://www.taxlogic.com)
starting on January 16, 2004.
Certain tax software providers will also offer E-FILING for their customers,
through their website or a direct dial-up number. Some employers and credit
unions nationwide offer E-FILING as an employee or member benefit. Some IRS
offices will transmit a self-prepared return at no charge; call them for times
and limitations, which vary.
Other than the options mentioned above, there is NO other way for you to
E-FILE your own return. (Some of you may have heard of previous IRS plans to
offer electronic filing directly on online services and the internet. These
plans have been scrapped.)
E-FILING provides the fastest and most dependable way of filing, whether you
are due a refund or have a balance due. Within a few days, you will receive
written confirmation that the IRS has indeed received your return. If you are
due a refund, you can elect to have it wired directly to your checking account,
which would generally take only 10-16 days after filing. If you prefer to receive
a check in the mail, that usually takes about 17-23 days, plus a few days mailing
time. Those who owe a balance on their return may have the return transmitted
earlier, and then simply pay the balance due with paper Form 1040-V before the
due date of the return. A balance due can also be paid with a Direct Debit from
your bank account, or - for a fee paid to a third party - by MasterCard, American
Express or Discover/Novus (Note: NOT Visa). See your ERO for details.
Be careful if you use a tax preparer who guarantees your "refund" in just a
few days. That deal is more likely a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL), which
is simply a short-term advance against the anticipated refund, which will
cost you additional fees and interest (with an APR for the short period of
time often more than 100%). Make sure you know what you are paying for, and
whether it is worth the additional money.