What Is Rapid Refund and E-File?

When filing a tax return, you want to get your refund back as quickly as possible. The fastest way to do that is to file your tax return electronically or e-file. This is a free service for many taxpayers if they use the IRS website.

Benefits of E-filing

In 2010, 100 million taxpayers filed their returns electronically with the IRS. E-filing is attracting users because it allows taxpayers to get their refunds quicker. The IRS says that e-filing provides greater accuracy on the returns, quick confirmation of the return's receipt, nothing to mail and options to file now and pay later. It is also convenient because the service can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How It Works

E-filing involves first preparing your taxes electronically. Your tax preparer or tax software program offers the option of e-filing for an additional fee. You need to have your bank account information for getting your refund direct deposited. You will be asked a few questions to set up a way for you to check the status of your refund.

Free Filing

The IRS has a free e-filing program through a partnership with the Free File Alliance, LLC. Taxpayers who made an adjusted gross income of less than $58,000 in 2010 may qualify to e-file their taxes for free. The program asks you questions and inputs your answers in the proper places on the tax forms and performs the calculations.


When you e-file your tax return, you can check the status of the return after 48 hours on the IRS website. You can get your refund in as little as 10 days if choose to have the refund deposited into your bank account. If you opt to receive a check, it will take three to four weeks.

Rapid Refund

Rapid Refund is H&R Block's trademarked name for e-filing. H&R Block has been e-filing since 1986 when 22,000 tax returns were e-filed in a test program with the IRS. The name Rapid Refund was trademarked in the late 1990s. According to H&R Block, the company files nearly half of the returns that the IRS receives electronically.