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

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about 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. 

In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital 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’ll receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with 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 info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.

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 less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
    3. Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

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

      Is e-filing really stable?

      While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.

      “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

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

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

      Bottom line

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