Kansas Heartland Dale Carnegie – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely 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 conserve the IRS cash because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: 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 issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Easy payment process: 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 afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that 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 the checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

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

  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.