Brian Tracy Change Your Habits – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

If you’re Considering e-filing, some 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 electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, 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 your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

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

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you by 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 since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

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

    It’s important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense 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 choices.  Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.