E-file is a system for submitting tax documents to the US Internal Revenue Service through the Internet or direct connection, usually without the need to submit any paper documents. Tax preparation software with e-filing capabilities includes stand-alone programs or websites. Tax professionals use tax preparation software from major software vendors for commercial use.
Of the 139.3 million US returns filed in 2007, 79.98 million (or about 57.4 percent) were filed electronically. In 2010, a total of 129.3 million US returns were filed, and 93.4 million were filed electronically: in three years the percentage of returns filed electronically increased to 72.3 percent of total returns.
Taxpayers can e-file free using the IRS Free File service, either using an authorized IRS e-file provider’s tax software, if eligible, or by using online fillable forms.