Ben Stein On Taxes – 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 on everything, but they are mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there 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 requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% 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 yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to 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 making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your 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 tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed 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.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade 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 leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”

    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 need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.