John C Maxwell 5 Levels Of Leadership Summary – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

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

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case 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 whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: 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 safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately 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 returns compared with paper returns.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to 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 choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing 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) will result in penalties and interest.

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

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt 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 options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet 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 program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

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

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

    “In actuality, it may 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, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

    It’s important to employ a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.