How Can I File My Taxes Online?

February 14, 2009

in Internet,online computing

by Tina Gasperson

In perhaps its most technologically advanced move ever, the IRS made it possible to file taxes online through partnership with several private sector companies. Whether you’re an individual, business, corporation, or nonprofit, there is an option for you at the IRS’s eFile Web site.

Filing taxes online is a great option for several reasons. Online tax filing is like having tax preparation software without having to pay for it. eFile tax services crunch all the numbers for you and show you which deductions and credits you’re eligible for. If you’re filing a long form, the service walks you through deductions and extra forms to file, step by step. Most services keep a running total of how much you owe or how much your refund will be, so you can see how you’re doing as you go. Another benefit is that eFile tax services keep an online record of your completed taxes in addition to your printed copy. You can also usually file returns or forms for previous years if you need to, and since the service keeps a record of your filed returns, if you use the same service next year it can reference these archived returns to make your tax preparation go faster. And finally, if you’re due a refund, filing electronically usually speeds up the process of getting that check from the IRS. You can also have the fund direct deposited into your bank account, just as you can with the old-fashioned file-by-snail-mail process.

IRS eFile

IRS eFile

For individual filers there are dozens of approved vendors with whom you can file taxes electronically for a small fee, usually $10 or less. If you make less than $56,000, the IRS allows you to file your taxes for free, choosing from most of the same companies who offer the service for free. Alternatively, if you don’t need help filing, you can access the electronic forms at the IRS site, fill them out yourself, file them right there at the IRS site, and pocket what you’d normally pay in fees. Great idea for accounting wizards, but as for me, I think I’ll pony up the $10 and get it done right the first time.

Tina Gasperson (, affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.