Online VS. Paper Tax Return Filing

In the digital era, it is possible to file taxes online, without leaving your home and filling the paper forms. The IRS offers a software for tax payer where they can fill digital forms and file the tax electronically. There are advantages and disadvantages of both methods, and in this article we will state all of them to help you decide which method is better for you.

Why many people still choose paper filing

Many people still prefer to file tax returns in the old-fashioned way, and the reasons for this can be numerous. Usually older people choose this method, because they are unfamiliar with modern technologies o the use of the Internet. Some people simply trust pen and paper more than computer software. Some tax payers are afraid of online tax frauds and false e-forms, so they decide to file tax return by filling out paper forms.

However, some taxpayers are obliged to use online filing, depending on the earnings and the number of paper forms they use. The IRS is switching to the electronic method for visibility, security and simplicity. So, it may be a good idea to start using their online filing software.

Pros and cons of paper filing

Paper filing is suitable for tax payers who have a simple tax return to file and do not need to fill in too many paper forms. Keep in mind that the IRS needs to retype every paper taxpayers submit, so if you have a more complex tax return, you should switch to e-filing. What’s more, the IRS may even require it.

The advantage of paper filing is that it can be cheaper than electronic filing, depending on the amount of tax and the complexity of tax return. It is also a way to avoid any online tax frauds, which are quite common around the Tax Day.

When it comes to disadvantages, paper filing is slower and it takes significantly more time to receive tax refund. It also uses a lot of resources and it is more difficult to calculate everything on your own, than with software provided by the IRS.

Pros and cons of electronic filing

Electronic filing is definitely the future of tax return filing, and many tax payers have already switched to this method. First of all, it is much faster, and the process is completed in 10 work days. With paper filing, it takes around three weeks. Another advantage is that, once you file the papers, you will get the confirmation from the IRS that they received your tax return. In case they do not accept it, you will get the rejection notice. In any case, you will know what to do next shortly after you submit the files.

Electronic filing is also more accurate, because the software calculates everything automatically. Thanks to this, it is also much faster to fill in the forms, not just get the confirmation and the tax return. Lastly, e-filing is eco-friendly, because it does not use paper.

One of the disadvantages of this method is that it can be more expensive than paper filing. Then, it is not suitable for those who are not tech-savvy. On the other hand – they can always ask for help of someone who knows how to deal with computers. Lastly, there are many tax-related online frauds, which is why many people opt for the paper version if they can. Still, if you use only the official IRS’s website and software, you will avoid any scam and file the tax return safely.