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Filing taxes via the Internet

The tax man cometh but, thanks to computers, you can beat him to the punch.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

The tax man cometh but, thanks to computers, you can beat him to the punch.

Welcome to the world of e-file tax returns and a paperless IRS. Although filing tax returns on the Internet isn’t a totally new concept – it’s been around for a few years – Bob Payne, a certified public accountant in South Point, said electronic filing is the route the Internal Revenue Service would like most tax filers to take.

Payne said that by 2003 the IRS wants more than 80 percent of tax filers to use electronic filing. Coupled with direct deposit into a checking account, Payne said, e-tax filers have the ability to have a paperless filing and return.

And filing electronically, Payne said, has increased the turnaround time on returns. Payne said most people receive their tax returns within two weeks of filing electronically.

According to the IRS website, www.irs.gov, more than 40 million Americans chose to use the IRS e-file options in 2001 – 13.6 percent more than the year before. The IRS said that it expects more than 46 million e-filers in 2002.

The IRS calls electronic filing a faster and easier approach to filing income taxes. The agency said IRS computers automatically check for errors and missing information and reduce the chance of taxpayers receiving an error letter from the IRS. Those using e-file also receive electronic confirmation from the agency that the tax return has been received.

Filers can also use an electronic signature to sign-off on the return by selecting a personal identification number. The PIN then takes the place of the users signature making the tax filing process paperless.

Payne said Ohio state taxes can also be e-filed. By filing with the federal government, the IRS forwards the state date on to the Ohio tax department.

And for those who have to pay Uncle Sam, e-filing offers the ability to pay taxes by using a credit card or an automatic withdraw from a checking account.

The agency’s website, http://www.irs.gov, provides all the necessary information regarding e-file and instructions for use.

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