Ben Stein Dry Eyes – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Types — 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 offer basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
    3. Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
    4. Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

      Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

      Is e-filing really secure?

      While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should deter you by e-filing.

      “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”

      Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

      It is very important to employ a trusted service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not private.

      Bottom line

      For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.