Brian Tracy Fraud – 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 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. 

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    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 receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy 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’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to 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 choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.

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

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • 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 normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. 
  • 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 alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed 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 which should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

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

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

    Bottom line

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