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J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2013: Your Complete Guide to a Better Bottom Line by Barbara Weltman

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Online Filing of Business Income Tax Returns

In 1998 Congress announced that its policy was to promote paperless filing of tax returns. It set a goal that 80% of all federal tax and information returns be filed online by 2007. In furtherance of this goal it instructed the IRS to promote the use of electronic filing through its e-file system and, to date, the IRS effort has been rather successful.

In the case of electronic filing of tax returns, the future is now. For 2011 returns filed in 2012, about 83% of all individual income tax returns were filed electronically. For corporate tax returns 34% were filed electronically and for partnership returns, 35% were filed electronically. There are several reasons for the increased interest in using electronic filing—even though it is not mandatory (other than for large corporations).

  • Faster refunds. Those who are owed a refund can expect to receive it in about half the time that it would take had the return been filed the traditional way in paper form. With electronic filing of returns and direct deposit of refunds, you can receive a refund in as little as 7 days.
  • Accuracy. There is a less than 1% error rate with electronically filed returns (compared with a more-than-20% error rate for paper returns). This is because the IRS reviews the return before accepting it. The IRS acknowledges acceptance of a return within 48 hours of submission. This acknowledgment is your proof of filing and assurance that the IRS has your return information. ...

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