Should you file taxes on paper or online? | OnlineShoppingReport

Should you file taxes on paper or online?

March 7th, 2013

Should you file taxes on paper or onlineBy Laurence MacNaughton

Unbelievably, many Americans sell themselves short every year at tax time. They pay too much. They miss out on deductions. They put themselves at risk of an audit.

And most of them don’t even know they’re doing it.

Is filing on paper really so bad?

Once upon a time, filing on paper was your only option. You’d write down all of your deductions and exemptions, add up everything and double-check your numbers.

Then you’d drop your envelope in the mail, praying that you’d done your taxes correctly. If everything went according to plan, you’d get a paper check back from the IRS… eventually.

If you were entitled to a bigger refund than you thought, would the IRS tell you?

Filing on paper leaves you vulnerable to all sorts of mistakes: transposed numbers, mathematical errors, missed deductions and more.

But it gets worse.

These days, the tax code is more complicated than ever. If you think you know everything about your tax situation, think again.

Today, the tax code weighs in at an estimated four million words.

(Related: Are tax returns too complicated? National Taxpayer Advocate says so, urges reform)

When you look at the whole picture, filing your taxes on paper just doesn’t make sense anymore.

E-filing is faster and easier than filing on paper.

The experts agree.

“E-filing with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your tax refund,” said Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA and TurboTax Blog Editor, in a recent interview.

Not only that, it can help you save money, too. Tax software can help you find credits and deductions that you might not even know about. And that can add up to a bundle of savings.

“Tax software walks you through all of the approved deductions by the IRS,” Greene-Lewis said. “So if you miss something, it reminds you: Are you sure you don’t have this deduction?”

And that can help put your money back where it belongs: in your bank account.

Find out how you can get a better deal on tax software with the ShopAtHome.com Tax Center.

For TurboTax Canada, please click here.

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