Dave And Sharon Ramsey Photo – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

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

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

And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

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

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

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

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards 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 your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation information: 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 find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.

How to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — 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 forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep 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 liberated.   The software 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 will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. 
  • 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. 

    Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five 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 — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t 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 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, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just make certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.