John C Maxwell Leadership Gold – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely 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. 

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

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    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’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking 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 result in interest and penalties.

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.

The way to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • 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 earnings, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized 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 favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted 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 this is not a problem which should deter you by e-filing.

    “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

    It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.