John C Maxwell Lifetime Must Read Books List – 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 are largely on precisely the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about security?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.

If you’re 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 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, 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) can lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

You have four options 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 taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups.  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 most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information 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 data 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 use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which isn’t private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense 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 certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.