Richard Branson Austin Powers – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

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

In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic 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 can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s 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 yields compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

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

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
    3. Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
    4. Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really secure?

While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t 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, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

It is important to employ a trusted service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.

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 easy payment choices.  Just make sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.