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How Are You Filing Your Income Taxes?

Written by Nickel - 11 Comments

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How Are You Filing Your Income Taxes?

A week ago, I asked how you guys will be preparing your taxes. As of this writing, just over 340 readers have responded, and the results are quite interesting. By far, the most popular response (with 48% of all votes) was commercial tax prep software, followed by a professional tax preparer (25%), electronic fillable forms (20%), and filling out paper forms manually (6%).

This week, I’m interested in hearing about how you’ll be filing your taxes. While those that fill out their forms by hand (paper and pencil) don’t have a choice, most everyone else does. For example, even if you use commercial tax prep software, you can either e-file or print and mail your return. The same goes for using a professional preparer.

Looking at the graph below, you can you that e-filing has become increasingly popular in recent years, with nearly 70% of all returns filed in 2010 (corresponding to the 2009 tax year) being e-filed. Based on these data, one can only assume that the 2011 numbers will be even higher.

e-filing rates

And now, time for the poll…


As for us, we’ll be mailing hard copies of our returns this year. It’s not that I have anything against e-filing… In fact, when we’ve used TurboTax in the past, we’ve always e-filed. So why are we mailing a hard copy now? Mainly because that’s how our tax guy does things.

What about you? Are you mailing hard copy or e-filing your return? Please vote in the poll above, and also feel free to leave a comment to provide a bit of context.

Published on March 7th, 2011 - 11 Comments
Filed under: Polls,Taxes

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. This year, I e-filed — because I’m getting a return of the taxes I overpaid.

    Last year, I mailed it (on the deadline) because I owed. 🙂

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 7th 2011 @ 10:09 am
  2. I started e-filing when they stopped charging for it.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 7th 2011 @ 10:37 am
  3. I normally e-file, but I am claiming the first time homebuyer credit this year. Mailing is required when claiming this credit. I’m not complaining though 🙂

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 7th 2011 @ 11:49 am
  4. E-file, and both the federal and state tax returns are already accepted.

    @ BG – even if you owe, if you do a bank draft for your payment you can still e-file and schedule the payment for April 15th (or I guess this year it’s the 18th). We did this last year when we owed a few hundred bucks; used turbo-tax and e-filed in February but the tax bill payment wasn’t drafted out of our bank account until a few days before the deadline.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 7th 2011 @ 12:00 pm
  5. E-Filed on March 4. would have been earlier than that but had to wait for the IRS to release Form 8801 for 2010. In years past when I owed additional taxes, I would usually wait until the last few days. But don’t do that folks, the Gov’t needs money now ! Debt ceiling looming.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 7th 2011 @ 12:10 pm
  6. This is one part ofthe govt that is efficient and fast. Paper checks are cashed faster than ach. Ach holds the float for a few days but since they deposit paper checks right away, IRS actually cashes it faster sometimes.

    If you have a refund due your accountant is delaying your funds by not efiling. Get with the program.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 7th 2011 @ 2:33 pm
  7. In years when I owe, I e-file and then mail a check on April 10. In years when I get a refund, I e-file as soon as possible. The only exception is last year when I had to mail everything because of the homebuyer tax credit.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 7th 2011 @ 3:26 pm
  8. E-filed TurboTax on 3/1, notified accepted by IRS on 3/2, refund deposited in credit union on 3/7. If govt was as efficient about spending the money as it is processing tax returns, taxes could be much less!

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 7th 2011 @ 6:16 pm
  9. Do your tax return in pencil and mail it in until the IRS starts allowing everybody to efile their taxes for free if they choose to. Why is it that it costs me money to efile if it saves the IRS time and money? Could it be the army of lobbyists for the tax preparers preventing our government from offering it for free for everyone? I think it is!

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 7th 2011 @ 11:05 pm
  10. I regularly file a hard copy. I plan it so that I owe money with the return and want to keep it in the bank as long as possible.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 14th 2011 @ 1:52 pm
  11. Hogan, are you kidding? The ‘army of lobbyists for the tax preparers’ are much more concerned about the new gov’t registration of preparers, fees & required IRS-approved CPE (which they still are figuring out). Any person/company that prepares more than 100 of *any* type of tax return is required (get that , REQUIRED) by IRS to efile. Believe me, some of the long-time partners at the firm I work for yearn for the days of paper filing!

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 22nd 2011 @ 10:38 am

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