Jack Canfield Train The Trainer Review – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about 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. 

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about security?  And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may 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 speed up the refund procedure.

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

  3. Easy 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 afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to 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. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using 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.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   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 help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It’s important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since 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 make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.