What is Efile or Electronic Filing?

Electronic filing (also known as "efile" or “e-filing”) is the creation, submission, sharing, and accessing of structured digital documents or forms via the Internet. This is different from traditional filing, which involves the filing of physical paper documents.

What is Smart Laziness? Take a look, a different way of looking at the efiling process. 

How Does Efile Work?

A user either creates a digital or physical document or form with the intention to securely submit, share, collaborate, sign or access this form with other organizations or users via a network or the Internet.  Typically, standard browser software, Internet access and a registration/approval process are required to electronically transmit or efile forms or documents to a receiving or accepting organization.

How Documents can be created and managed via Electronic Filing?

Paper documents are converted to digital files through Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML technology uses various markup languages, and it determines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that can be read by machines and humans. This markup language's design encourages generality, simplicity, and usability for digital documents sent and received over an Internet connection.

What Types of Files Can Be Stored and Organized in an efile System?

Various types of files can be created, stored, organized, edited, and deleted in an efile system. Among these types of files are:

  • Complex reports
  • Charts/graphs
  • Letters
  • Images

What Are the Benefits of E-Filing?

There are many benefits of e-filing and converting your "paper office" into a "paperless office". Among them are:

  • It's good for the environment. Toners and inks for printers use environment-damaging materials.
  • It can help you save money. Printer inks, toners, and paper can be very expensive.
  • It allows you to find documents faster. Paper documents are often difficult to arrange and search in multiple sorting arrangements, and paper stored in different, numerous locations is usually difficult (and costly) to manage and edit. In contrast, a paperless office would have various types of digital files on one operating system, or one type of digital file on a specific operating system. In addition, an electronic system offers the ability to search or browse through numerous digital files, allowing you to find the exact document you need in less time, compared to finding a paper document.
  • You can store and organize digital files in less time, unlike traditional paper filing.
  • The recipient will obtain more accurate information. This occurs because it's transferred directly from the database that contains the information (usually entered by an applicant) to the recipient. This information doesn't have to be entered again manually, compared to paper filing methods that often result in information errors.
  • You can save more space. Traditional offices have paper-based filing systems. These systems may include folders, filing cabinets, drawing cabinets, shelves, and microfiche systems. All of these items often require equipment, considerable space, and maintenance, and can be resource-intensive. In contrast, paperless offices usually have desks, chairs, and computers with a significant amount of local or network space to store information in digital format.

What is E-Filing Commonly Used For?

E-filing is often used for many purposes, but it's most commonly used for court filing and tax return preparation.

What Types of Agencies Use E-Filing?

Many agencies and organizations use e-filing, including:

  • Government agencies
  • Attorneys
  • Federal and state courts: Filings are prepared and submitted in a digital format and sent directly to the court. Alternatively, in some cases, the filings can be sent to an intermediary, which provides the digital files to the designated court.
  • Non-profit organizations

Who Provides E-filing Services?

Various online vendors provide efile services to their clients. In many cases, these vendors offer efiling services for more than one category.

MIXNET provides the following services for the following categories:

  • efile.com: Tax return self-preparation and efiling by tax payers
  • efileTaxPro: Live collaboration between tax preparer and tax payer
  • efile CX: Court document creation, efiling and management
  • efile PX: Permit application, approval and management software
  • Digital conversion: Documents, microfilm and microfiche into digital formats
  • Host your own: MIXNET can host any of your existing applications

Related links?

efile.com: Online platform for tax return self preparers

efileTaxPro.com: Electronic filing of court documents

efilePX: Permit Management Software

Digitizing of documents, micrographics

Cloud computing, application hosting benefits

A List of MIXNET clients

Integrated Courts Record Management