Public Victory Stephen Covey – 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 about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need in case 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 if it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.

If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: 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 months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, 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. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, 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 result in penalties and interest.

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

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

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

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your 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 yields.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem that should dissuade 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 direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may 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 data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Vendors typically utilize 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 assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield 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 sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.