The Difference Between Filing Your Taxes Electronically and by Mail

PHOTO: Tips for filing taxes electronically versus by mail.Getty Images
Tips for filing taxes electronically versus by mail.

Want to receive your tax return faster? This might be the year to consider switching to electronic filing.

Agency budget cuts could cause delays for taxpayers who file through the mail, IRS spokesman Eric Smith said.

"Paper return processing is going to take longer this year," Smith added.

If you file the old-fashioned way, you could have to wait seven weeks for your refund, while e-filers could see refunds in just 21 days.

"The fastest way to be able to file your return and get your refund is to file electronically," said H&R Block's Kathy Pickering, "and then take your refund as an electronic deposit into your bank account or onto a prepaid debit card."

The IRS reported seeing fewer paper filings, with as many as 80 percent of taxpayers now filing online.