Metas Zig Ziglar – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

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

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital 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 weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to 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 option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.

How to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers 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 free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, 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 yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.