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Pros and Cons of Mandatory E-Filing Taxes to the IRS

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 01:17 PM

Taxpayers are increasingly filing their IRS tax returns electronically. According to efile.com, about 86 percent of the returns the IRS received in 2014 were e-filed compared to nearly 47 percent in 2004.

Some suggest the federal government make e-filing mandatory. Here are some pros and cons about e-filing taxes to the IRS:

Pro: It's more accurate. The taxpayer error rate with paper returns exceeds 25 percent versus less than 2.5 percent for returns that are e-filed, according to U.S. News.

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The most recent IRS analysis of how much money the treasury lost as a result of taxpayer underpayment — from 2006 — showed taxpayers underreported their individual income tax liability on their returns by $235 billion.

"If all returns were e-filed (and therefore more accurate) the gap would be significantly reduced," reports U.S. News.

Pro: The IRS is able to process e-filed returns more quickly. In most cases people get their refund faster when they e-file.

Pro: E-filed returns are cheaper for the IRS to deal with. Processing paper returns costs the agency $2.87 per return versus 35 cents for e-filing, U.S. News reports.

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Pro:  E-filing is safe and secure. The IRS has safely and securely processed more than 1.3 billion e-filed tax returns from individuals since the program began, according to Fox Business.

Con: Not everyone is comfortable sending sensitive financial information over the Internet.

Con: Filing electronically is a big inconvenience for people who don't have a computer.

Con: A lot of people prefer to have paper in front of them when they file their taxes. Requiring e-filing would remove that option.

Con: Filing by paper is the best option for people who have a fairly simple tax return.

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Taxpayers are increasingly filing their IRS tax returns electronically. According to efile.com, about 86 percent of the returns the IRS received in 2014 were e-filed compared to nearly 47 percent in 2004.
IRS, pros, cons, mandatory e-filing, taxes
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2015-17-22
Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 01:17 PM
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