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

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

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

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed 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 find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether 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 affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 . 
  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 receive your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep 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 programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed 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 preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you from 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, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”

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

    It’s important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.