Eight Habits Of Highly Effective Person By Stephen Covey – 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 on everything, but they’re largely on the exact same page when it comes 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 is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

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

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking 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 tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.

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

The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 

  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you by e-filing.

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

    It’s important to employ a trustworthy service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment options.  Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.