Richard Branson Money – 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 about everything, but they are mostly on the 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.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

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

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 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 are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to 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 option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in penalties and interest.

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

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

How to e-file a tax return?

    1. Use 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 Forms — 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 types do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
    3. Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is 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 expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

      Is e-filing really stable?

      While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.

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

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

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

      Bottom line

      For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just make sure that you use tax preparation 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.