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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the 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.  E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

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

If you’re thinking about 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 does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may 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.

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

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

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

The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own 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.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data 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 data safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

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

    Bottom line

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