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Paper or electronic? It's tax preparation time

Wednesday - 1/18/2012, 6:05am  ET

WASHINGTON - The time has come to sort out the paper from the electronic filing. Tax season is here and million of Americans will soon choose between filling out forms with a pen and filling them out online.

Last year, 112 million Americans -- 80 percent of taxpayers -- went paperless to file. The IRS is accepting electronic tax returns for the 2012 tax filing season.

E-filing is becoming the norm, according to SmartMoney.

One big reason for going the electronic route is that taxpayers can get their refunds faster by filing online. It usually only takes 10 days to get that check or direct deposit.

The IRS is offering free software to help people figure out what they owe and how much they are owed. Those who make less than $57,000 qualify to file for free.

Federal taxes this year are due on April 17 because April 15 falls on a Sunday and April 16 is D.C.'s Emancipation Day.

WTOP's Mark Segraves contributed to this report. Follow Mark and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)