Becky Quick Warren Buffett – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes? 

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

    It’s important to use a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.