Peter A Lynch Albany – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether 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 received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive 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 is approximately 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 issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  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 necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. 
  • 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 licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, 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 suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

    “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information 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 data secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “

    It’s very important to employ a trusted service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not private.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because 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 sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.