John C Maxwell Book The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the 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 because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

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

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever 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 requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months 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 accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is 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 issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting 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 an electronic copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

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

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter 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 rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it’s 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 that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.