Brian Tracy Best Books – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely 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.  E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very 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 confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 

    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 receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money 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 using 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. 

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — 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 standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should 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 anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

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

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It is important to employ a trustworthy service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it is 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 that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.