Advantages & Disadvantages of Electronic Filing Practices

Filing your taxes properly and on time is not only important for you as a citizen, since paying your taxes is a legal requirement, but it's important for the government, too. Without tax revenue the government can't pay employees or perform services. Electronic filing is a method of tax filing that has become more and more popular over the years, but like any other system of filing taxes it has both advantages and disadvantages.

Speed

The primary benefit of electronic filing is the speed at which it's completed. Unlike physical sheets of paper, which can take days or even weeks to arrive at their destination, electronic tax forms can be sent over the Internet in a matter of seconds. Not only does this save the taxpayer time and postage, but it saves the IRS time and money since it doesn't have to process as much mail as it would if everyone sent physical tax forms to the agency.

Technology

Although the technology to electronically file tax returns has been in place in the United States at least since the year 1986, the system is not yet perfect and it can't support all types of tax documents. This means there will be costs to continue to expand the system so it will accept all possible tax document types from the public.

Efficiency

Electronic filing is more efficient than paper filing. Only the person who is filing paper documents (and possibly his tax preparer) will check paper documents for accuracy before filing. With electronic filing, the forms must pass an electronic check from the computer they're filled out on, then once the forms are submitted they are rechecked by the IRS's software. This greatly minimises the chances of incomplete forms, which cause processing delays, reaching the IRS.

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About the Author

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.

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