Breath Walking Tony Robbins – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on 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. 

And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need in case 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 might be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may 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 may also accelerate the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking 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 tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.

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

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

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types 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 prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

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

Is e-filing really secure?

While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should deter you by e-filing.

“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

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

It is very important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.

Bottom line

For many 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 sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.