Rhonda Byrne 2018 – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

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

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all 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 option 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 affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital 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 may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% 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 returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience 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.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money 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 using the IRS Immediate 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 tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will 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 simple.

The way to e-file a tax return?

You have four choices for submitting 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 all these forms. 

  • 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 forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer 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.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database 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 preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states 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 private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file 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 that you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.