Bryan Flanagan Zig Ziglar – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

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

If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

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’re comfortable doing your earnings without assistance, 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 all these kinds. 
  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that 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.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal 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 set safety measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible 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 easy payment options.  Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.