Frequently Asked Questions About Individual Income Tax Electronic Filing (E-file)
Any person or business paid to prepare and file 25 or more Nebraska individual income tax returns in 2012 must electronically file (e-file) all individual income tax returns they are paid to prepare in 2013.
General E-file Questions
What is e-file?
E-file is a general term for electronic filing. Electronic filing is the submission of tax form data to a taxing authority, or an agent of a taxing authority, in a computer file format.
What types of individual e-filing does Nebraska offer?
There are two ways to e-file your Nebraska Individual Income Tax Return:
How are these programs different?
Federal/State Electronic Filing means you can file both your federal and state returns at the same time. You can do this either through an approved tax preparer; or you can do it yourself, using software you purchase or access on the Internet. Typically, there is a preparation fee or purchase cost when using one of these methods; however, some individuals may be eligible for discounted e-filing when using the Federal/State Internet-based (online) option.
Though it is also an "online" program, the NebFile program is limited to full-year residents who meet other eligibility requirements. NebFile is always free to use.
How do I determine which e-filing option is best for me?
When it comes to e-file, deciding which option to use should be based on the following considerations, in the order of importance to you:
- What your eligibility is for using the various e-file options. Different options have different eligibility requirements, and your choices are determined by the type of return you must file. Look for eligibility information for Federal/State e-file and NebFile by using the links above.
- What the costs are for e-filing, what you are willing to pay, and whether you are eligible for a free filing option.
- Whether or not you prefer to have a tax professional prepare your return for you.
- Whether you have already filed your federal return, or if filing both your federal and state returns at the same time is important to you.
What costs are associated with e-file?
If you decide to use a paid tax preparer, the fee you are charged will vary. Some preparers charge extra for electronically transmitting your return, and others include the transmission fee in with a preparation fee. If you prefer to prepare your own return using either software you purchase at a store or download from an Internet site, you will typically be charged for the state preparation package separately from the federal. Prices for purchasing this software vary from product to product. If you use software residing on the vendor’s website, you will be charged a fee for its use. Some individuals are eligible for discounted e-filing of their federal return when using this Internet-based (online) option.
NebFile is a program developed by the state, and there are no fees charged for using this option.
What are the benefits of using e-file?
The biggest benefit is a faster refund. When your tax return is electronically transmitted, it gets processed almost immediately. This means your refund will be issued faster; and if you use direct deposit, your refund can be automatically credited to your bank account. E-file is also easier and more accurate. Whether filing through a tax preparer or using a computer-based product, you are typically asked a series of questions that you must answer, and the math and tax law work is done by the computer. When you are finished e-filing, you will receive a confirmation that the return was received. Finally, an e-filed return costs your government less to process, and so is just the right thing to do.
What if I have a balance due instead of a refund?
Along with refund returns, balance due and zero due returns can also be filed electronically. All returns filed electronically are processed faster and with fewer errors. You can file your balance due return early, and postpone your payment until April 15. For even greater convenience, if you file through the Federal/State e-file program, you can have your tax payment automatically debited from your bank account. You also have the option to pay by credit card, regardless of your filing method. To find out more about the credit card payment option, CLICK HERE.
How do I find a tax preparer that offers electronic filing?
Ask your tax preparer if they offer electronic filing. Be sure that they file both federal and state returns electronically. Look for the IRS e-file logo ( ) displayed at their business location.
Also, the IRS maintains a listing of authorized e-file tax preparers on its website. You simply enter the first three digits of your zip code, and you will be given a listing of all authorized providers in your area. If you decide to use one of these preparers, be sure that they can E-file both federal and state returns. Click here to access the IRS site.
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