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

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on 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 because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially 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 that you might 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 might be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic 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 be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as 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. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

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

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 

  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected 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 safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.