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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely 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.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

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

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around 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 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 afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your 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) can lead to interest and penalties.

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all 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 liberated.   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 aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.

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

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since 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 be certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.