Ben Stein Game Show – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

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

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: 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 that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.

How to e-file a tax return?

You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability 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 help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
    3. Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really stable?

While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may 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 email.”

Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “

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

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.