How Much Has Warren Buffett Donated – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on the exact 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.

In return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

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

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm 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 . 
  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 may also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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.

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, filing 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 a digital backup of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It is important to use a trusted service to assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.