Richard Branson House – 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’re mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

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

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t 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 receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced chance of mistakes: 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 information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

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

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

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

How to e-file a tax return?

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The types do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
    2. Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to finish 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 steer you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option 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.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really secure?

While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.

“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

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

It is very important to employ a trusted service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that isn’t confidential.

Bottom line

For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just be sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.