Despite the boom in digitization, the manual filing of documents is still being used by most organizations in the world. However, electronic filing is a new concept that is gaining momentum. The two methods of maintaining records are different from each other in many ways.
Here we’ve explained each of them and discussed why e-filing is the most effective.
In this method, files are arranged manually in an order based on alphabetical or numerical order. A manual filing system requires much time as it involves a lot of paperwork and has to be done manually. Similarly, if someone wants to search for any particular file, it becomes very difficult due to so many files present in one place.
Electronic filing means storing all the documents in a computer system and can be retrieved with much ease and speed as compared to the manual filing system. It does not use paperwork, therefore saving time and space. In this method, you can file any kind of document such as text, numbers, or pictures of different formats like PDF or JPEG, etc. You can also change the existing data or add new data without difficulty. This method also allows you to send your document through email to anyone around the world without wasting much time, as it happens in the case of faxing. With e-filing, you’ll come across terms like file and serve.
What’s File and Serve?
File & Serve is an electronic filing service for many United States courts. It allows users to file documents electronically, or e-file, according to court rules. File and serve can then serve the filed document on the other party or parties, who may then respond electronically as well.
The benefits of using File and Serve Illinois over traditional physical filing are speed, accuracy, and cost. Electronic filing is faster than physical filing because it can be done 24 hours a day without having to drive to a courthouse and wait in line.
Documents filed electronically are more likely to be filed correctly because they are not subject to errors such as incorrect format or missing information that paper documents may have. Electronic filing also saves time and money by eliminating the need to physically file documents with the court, pay filing fees by check or money order, or purchase postage for mail delivery of filings.
The File & Serve system is a fully automated process. No application forms are required and the process takes just a few minutes.
More benefits of filing and serving your documents electronically include:
Electronic filing will save you time and money-Electronic service will enable you to serve your documents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year without the need for registered posts or waiting on queues at the courthouse.
No last-minute rush-You can upload your documents in advance of any court deadlines – no more last-minute trips to the courthouse
Save on postage costs-Once filed, your documents are delivered instantly to all parties automatically by email. You will receive an immediate confirmation that your document has been successfully served.
Environmental-friendly-It helps the environment by reducing the use of paper which also means fewer trees cut down to produce paper.
Don’t forget that there are tax advantages too. Whether you’re a corporation or an individual filer, there are some tax credits available to you when you file your taxes electronically.
Steps of Filing Documents Electronically
If you are filing documents electronically, there are six steps to take.
First, you have to get the documents into your computer. There are three ways to do this: scanning paper documents. downloading from websites, and creating new documents electronically.
Second, you need to store the documents on your hard drive or on a network drive or in the cloud, or on a flash drive. The criterion for choosing where is how often you will want to access them and where you will want to access them from.
you need to decide where on your computer’s hard disk you will put the file. It is always easiest in the short term to just dump files wherever convenient, but in the long term, it is better to have a system of directories (more commonly known as “folders”) with a hierarchy of levels. It really does not matter what your system of directories is. the only thing that matters is that it works for you.
Third, you need to copy your document into its new home on your hard disk so that it can be accessed later. this means that you need some software that can read and write files in whatever format they are stored in. If they are stored as Word or Excel or PDF files, then you need Word or Excel or Adobe Acrobat. you need to name the documents so that they are easy to find again.
Fourth, you need to make a backup copy of each document somewhere else. If it’s only on your hard drive it’s as vulnerable as a paper document sitting on your desk.
Fifth, if your document is going to be read by others, they will need software to read it into their computers. This means that your storage format must be a common one like pdf or tiff or jpeg or HTML. If people won’t be able to read what’s in their computers in several years, it won’t be much better than paper for long-term storage.
What Do You Need to File Documents Electronically?
All you need is your password from the online filing system and a computer with Internet access.
Simply log on at www.irs.gov/efile and follow the instructions on each screen. The system will walk you through each step of the process, and provide help along the way. If you do not know your password, go to IRS.gov and click on Get Your Password or PIN under Online Services on the right side of the home page.
You’ll need to enter your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, filing status (e.g., married filing jointly), and tax year. The system will then ask you a series of questions based on information from your prior-year return to verify your identity before providing you with your password.
You will also need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer so that you can view, save and print PDF files. You can download this free program by clicking on the link provided on the IRS website.”