Richard Branson 2018 – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely 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. 

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about security?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is 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 from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    3. Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

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

Is e-filing really secure?

While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you by 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, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

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

It’s important to use a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t private.

Bottom line

For most 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 preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.