Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Paper Filing vs. E-filing with ExpressIRSForms

February is a lull of a month for the 1099 and W-2 e-filers. With the recipient deadline behind us, and the IRS e-filing deadline not until March 31, it’s not unusual for e-filers to put their IRS reporting on the backburner. But if you plan to paper file, don’t switch out pans just yet.

The paper filing IRS deadline for 1099s and W-2s is February 29, 2016. That means you have 26 days to fill out all of those little boxes on your paper forms, then print, stamp, and mail them to the IRS. But before you waste all that paper in the name of “that’s how we’ve always done it,” consider your alternative: e-filing.

E-filers Get an Extra Month to File
If you e-file your 1099s or W-2s, your deadline to file with the IRS isn’t until March 31. Whereas if you paper file, your forms need to be into the IRS by the last day of February (since this year’s a leap year, that’s the 29th). You’d think it would be the other way around since paper filing takes more time, but since there’s more to be done on the IRS’s end to process paper forms, they require them a month earlier. Which brings me to my next point…

Paper Filing Takes More Time
Your time is important. And while you understand the importance of reporting your 1099s and W-2s to the IRS, that doesn’t mean you should have to spend a lot of time on it. When you paper file, you have to take the time to gather your information, print all the forms you’ll need, fill out those forms perfectly (otherwise you’ll get a fine), package them up and stamp them, then send them through the mail. And heaven forbid you make an error: you’ll have to wait on your mailed notice from the IRS, then fill out more forms to correct it, starting the process all over again.

When you e-file with a site like ExpressIRSForms, there’s nothing to print, stamp, or mail. You just sign in, create a new form, enter in your information, then hit transmit. You’ll get email confirmations when you transmit, when the IRS receives your form(s), and when they’re processed and accepted or rejected. And if you need to make any corrections, you just log into your account, find the form, correct it, and retransmit for free. Sounds much easier, doesn’t it?

E-filing Leaves Less Room for Error
Based on research the IRS has done, just less than 1% of e-filers make the common errors that result in penalties that 25% of paper filers make. If you paper file, your best bets for having someone double check your forms before you file are: taking your forms to a CPA (and paying their fee), taking your forms to a local IRS office (and waiting in line), or having your coworker who took an upper level accounting class in college look them over (and probably still making the same mistakes). With ExpressIRSForms, your forms go through a series of error checks before you transmit to make sure you file everything correctly the first time around.

Paper Filers May Have to E-file Anyway
Like it or not, if you have 250 or more of either the 1099 or W-2 forms to file, the IRS requires you e-file them. This is just as much for your convenience as it is theirs. I mean, have you ever tried to fill out over 250 forms? Stubbornness won’t pay out here either: if you paper file more than 250 of one form, the IRS will fine you for it.

ExpressIRSForms E-filers Get the Best Support Team in the Nation
Here all year long instead of just during tax season, the ExpressIRSForms support team is happy to answer any of your 1099, W-2, ACA, and W-9 e-filing questions. Located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, we offer support in English and Spanish, by phone, live chat, or email. You can send us a live chat or give us a call (704-839-2270) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or send us an email 24/7 at

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