Dave Ramsey How Much Car Can I Afford – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. 

In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

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

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  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 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.

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

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage 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.  You also have the option 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. 

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

The types do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups.  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 prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.

    “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”

    It’s very important to use a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.

    Bottom line

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