Jim Rohn Tree Quote – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly 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. 

In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, 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.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.

The types do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  By way of 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 yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.

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

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

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

    Bottom line

    For most 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 easy payment choices.  Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.