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

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the exact 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.  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 cash because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. 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 get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

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

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

How to e-file a tax return?

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

The types do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 

  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than 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 need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”

    It is important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.