Debbie Bosanek Warren Buffett – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact 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.  E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can digital 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 not e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

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

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup 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 get those advantages — 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.

The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups.  For instance, 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’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal 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 the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”

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

    Bottom line

    For most 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 effortless payment choices.  Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.