Just the idea of having to sit down and organize all of our financial data and find out just how much of our hard-earned money has to go to Uncle Sam each year is enough to make many of us wake up in a cold sweat. First there are the confusing tax forms and countless rules you must follow, then you get hit with the stress of having to wonder if your return will make it to the IRS in time to avoid a penalty.

One of the biggest stress factors for many tax payers is audit risk that comes along with even the smallest error in your math when filling out the forms. Is there a way to make this whole process a little less stressful and time-consuming? If you haven't considered electronic income tax filing in the past, it's time to consider e-filing your returns this year. Why? Filing electronically offers a number of big advantages over sending your return to the IRS by mail.

The Advantages of Filing Your Income Tax Return Online

1. Your Get Automatic Confirmation of Acceptance - When you e-file, there's no more waiting in line at the post office with hundreds of other people to get delivery or signature confirmation for your tax return. As soon as you submit your return online, you are given an electronic confirmation number showing proof of when you filed. Once the IRS accepts your return, you get another confirmation indicating they received it. This usually occurs within 24 to 48 hours.

2. You Get Your Refund Much Faster - Tired of waiting six to eight weeks or longer for your refund check from the IRS? When you use an electronic filing option, you can have your refund direct deposited into the bank account of your choice in as little as 8 days! Nobody wants to give an interest free loan to the government so it is to your advantage to get your refund as quickly as possible.

3. You Can File Both Your Federal and State Returns Online - There's no need to look up and print mailing addresses for multiple tax collection offices. You can submit your federal and state income tax returns using the same process. This saves having to print multiple copies of your return and the cost of postage as well.

4. Error Check - If you use one of the popular tax preparation software programs such as TurboTax or H&R Block At Home to e-file your tax returns, they offer an automated error check to check your return for any mistakes that would cause it the IRS to reject it. They can also identify areas of your return that may put you at an increased audit risk so you can look at them before the IRS does and make sure that everything is correct.

Here are some more great tips for electronic federal income tax filing that will help you get organized and select a good tax software to prepare your return.

Do yourself a favor and take some of the hassle out of tax season this year by filing your income tax return electronically instead. Why waste your time dealing with paper forms and reading through complex and frustrating rules? Take advantage of the technology available to simplify the process and get your refund faster than ever. It isn't nearly as complicated as it sounds and the major tax software programs lead you through the process so you can complete your taxes in record time this year!