Jim Rohn Winter – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

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

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been 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 submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% 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 yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

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

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put 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 links .”

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.