Hate tax season? Most of us do.
Want a way to make it more enjoyable, especially if you're doing your own?
Two words - electronic filing.
Many taxpayers won't have to touch a single piece of paper to file or pay their taxes this year, thanks to electronic filing and the ease of paying taxes conveniently and securely with a credit or debit card.
This shift away from pushing paper and mailing checks to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a growing trend. In 2009, 66 percent of returns were filed electronically-95 million-up from 58 percent of all returns in 2008. In 2010, the IRS expects even more returns to be filed electronically. For taxpayers, going electronic means quicker processing times, more accurate returns and faster refunds. Advantages include:
• Convenience and ease. Paying taxes electronically not only eliminates the hassle of having to write and mail a check just to then have to wait for it to clear, it also ensures that your payment will be on time and doesn't get lost in the mail.
• Security and peace of mind. Paying electronically means tax payments are received safely and securely, with fast, on-time payment and confirmation. Filing electronically also diminishes the chances of error in compiling your tax return, reducing the need for correspondence with the IRS to clarify errors or omissions.
• Faster refunds. According to the IRS, taxpayers who file electronically and choose direct deposit can receive refunds in as few as 10 days. This option allows taxpayers to get refunds in half the time it takes to file a paper tax return and receive a refund check.
• Opportunity to earn rewards. Depending on the type of card that a filer uses when paying taxes, taxpayers can earn miles, points and rewards.
• Savings on tax preparation software. Through October 15, Visa cardholders can enjoy a 20 percent savings on the cost of tax preparation and filing software from TurboTax.
For the convenience of paying taxes with a credit or debit card, service providers may charge cardholder fees, which will vary based on the amount of the tax payment and service provider selected.