Dale Carnegie Graduate – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the 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. 

In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms you may need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your needs.

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 electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is 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 issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that 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 the 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) will lead to penalties and interest.

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

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

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

The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing 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 yields.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

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

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

    It is important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is 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 dependable source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.