Red Hat Warren Buffett – What to Consider When Filing 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 mostly 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 as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into 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 intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: 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 can also accelerate the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is 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 issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.

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

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than 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 safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”

    It is important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

    For many 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 easy payment options.  Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.