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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely 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. 

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly 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 the forms you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: According to 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 info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: 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 a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.