Elizabeth Warren Dave Ramsey – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

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

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a intricate 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 option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents.  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 get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.

The way to e-file a tax return?

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
    2. Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, 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 — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should deter you by 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 leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”

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

Bottom line

For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just be sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.