Richard Branson Cruise Ship – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. 

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about security?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your needs.

If you are Considering e-filing, some 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 digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

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

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.

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

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

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Forms — 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 offer basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
    3. Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep 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 programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. 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 normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most 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 — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.

“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since 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, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”

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

Bottom line

For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it is 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 planning software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.