Brian Tracy Personal Power Lessons For A Better Life – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

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

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct 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. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents.  So 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 advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.

The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices 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 life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using 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 secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem 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 direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “

    It’s very important to employ a trusted service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that 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 effortless payment choices.  Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.