Wouldn’t you love to have more cash in these tough economic times? Many taxpayers are discovering that filing their taxes electronically and preparing their taxes is a better option than ever.

No matter who prepares your tax returns, you can file electronically. Fast 58 per cent of all tax returns were e-filed during 2008, with nearly 90 million returns being e-filed. E-filing will be more popular in 2009 due to the current economy.

E-filing allows you to file electronically, which is faster than paper filing. The IRS encrypts all data so that your information remains secure. Within 48 hours, you will receive acknowledgement from the IRS. The process allows you to electronically file your federal and most state tax returns simultaneously. Additionally, it helps identify any tax credits in order to maximize your refund. “If you owe taxes, you can still e-file and use an electronic payment option (electronic funds withdrawal, credit card or recurring payments from your bank account) to pay your balance due.”

Doug Shulman, the IRS Commissioner, has supported e-filing to be the fastest way to get refunds and file accurate returns. The IRS e-file system has been improved to make it easier for more people to access and get their refunds quicker. “These are tough times, and e-file is the best way for people to get cash in their pocket quickly,” said Shulman. “Filing electronically with direct deposit can get refunds to taxpayers in as few as 10 days.”

Online and desktop software are available for tax preparation. The steps are easy for even first-time tax preparers. The process is simple and users can follow the steps with straightforward questions. There are varying levels of customer support available.

Many tax preparation products are updated every year with new features to ensure accuracy. Some products also offer maximum refund amounts and accuracy guarantees based on when and how you file your returns. Some products offer the ability to import tax information from previous years – usually for a nominal charge – reminding you about all income and deductions.

Most products come with deduction finder tools to help you get the best return. TaxACT 2008 Deluxe also includes Donation Assistant. This tool allows you to track the value of donations other than cash according to IRS guidelines. “Given the current state of the economy, we want TaxACT customers to know they’re getting the biggest refund possible, without spending a lot to get it,”Lance Dunn, CPA, President, 2nd Story Software, Inc., the makers of TaxACT, explained.

A tax preparation product will generally be cheaper than hiring an accountant or CPA to prepare your taxes. Taxpayers can prepare, print and electronically file their federal returns and their state returns with leading products for no cost. “Most people have to file both federal and state taxes, and state preparation is where the cost really lies for many taxpayers,”Dunn, “With TaxACT, users won’t pay more than $13.95 to prepare, print or e-file a state return.”

Even though the economy is in recession, you can take comfort knowing that you have the option to e-file quickly and securely. Consider preparing your taxes on your own – it may save you money, and even make tax preparation more enjoyable. E-filing and preparing your taxes yourself or using both could help you get your refund quicker and save money.

Learn more about efiling and IRS-approved products for tax preparation at www.IRS.gov. TaxACT information can be found here www.TaxACT.com.