Brian Tracy Metas – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  You can 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 funds 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

You have four options for submitting 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 taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    3. Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. 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 normally restricted based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

      Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over 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 that should dissuade you by e-filing.

      “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”

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

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

      Bottom line

      For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because 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 sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.