Why You Should File ALL Returns Electronically and How QuickBooks Can Help

As a business owner, filing your tax returns can be a burdensome process. While the last thing you probably want to do is learn a new system to file your returns, it just might be the key to streamlining the filing process and accurately maintaining your data entry.

Filing your returns electronically has many benefits, and there are a variety of software options out there to help get the job done. We’re partial to QuickBooks due to the platform’s ability to pull relevant information straight from your financial reports and file your returns from one location.

Before we get into how QuickBooks can help you file your returns, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of filing electronically.

Filing Returns Electronically

If you’re still dependent on paper forms and statements to file your returns, you might be hesitant to make the switch to electronic filing. Rest assured, however, that the developers of tax software designed their products specifically with you in mind. That means that most platforms are streamlined and intuitive, allowing for edits and taking breaks in the filing process if you don’t want to knock your returns out in one sitting.

Save Time

When you file electronically, you drastically reduce the time it takes to file. You won’t have to shuffle through schedules and instructions thanks to embedded links and descriptions associated with the various forms. 

The IRS is also able to increase their efficiency by reducing the average processing time for returns when they receive them in an electronic format. That means you can worry less about filing deadlines. You’ll even receive a confirmation from the IRS within 24 hours of e-filing.

Securely Enter Information

Understandably, data security and identity theft is a valid concern for those who file electronically. The IRS has taken this into consideration by developing an electronic PIN that represents your signature on all returns and can be used to identify the taxpayer. This PIN can’t be used by others, including tax professionals preparing your return for you.

The IRS has also developed e-filing security standards to safeguard your tax information in the event of a security breach. All IRS e-file providers must also be authorized and have a data security plan in place. These plans place restrictions on who is allowed to share or access any taxpayer’s information.

Cut Back on Errors

Filing electronically is also associated with less errors than filing with paper forms. Almost every platform will offer alerts for missing information and provide suggestions for credits or tax cuts that might apply to your situation based on the information you’ve entered.

The IRS even keeps your information on file, meaning you or your tax preparer can access it at any time to check information and accuracy. That’s much more assurance than you receive when mailing paper forms and waiting to hear back regarding your return.

How QuickBooks Changes Filing

QuickBooks is an ideal software option for business owners looking to file their tax returns electronically. It’s especially useful if you’re already tracking your financials through one of QuickBooks’ many customizable bookkeeping and accounting platforms.

You can generate accurate year-end and quarterly reports to pull your tax return information from without worrying about missing a detail or making a mistake. Tracking things like business income, profit and loss, and fixed assets throughout the year will simplify the tax reporting process immensely.

If you’re paying an accountant or tax professional to prepare you returns, you can still use QuickBooks to supply them with reports and copies of your financial information. In fact, if you’ve allowed your accountant to access your QuickBooks account as an Accountant User, they can generate all the reports they need to file your tax returns without minimal involvement on your part. You will, of course, still be required to use your PIN to electronically sign your return.

QuickBooks also provides two ways to file electronically. If you’re filing your return yourself, you’ll likely use Turbo Tax by Intuit. If your accountant is filing on your behalf they can import your information using ProConnect Tax Online. Both of these e-filing options are a secure method to input your information and submit it on time to the IRS. 

Intuit products are trusted by a multitude of accounting firms and tax preparers around the world to protect taxpayer information and reliably deliver tax returns to the IRS in an electronic format. If you’d like to learn a little more about how QuickBooks and Intuit can support your e-filed returns, reach out to Adams Consulting today.