Richard Branson Net Worth – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

Is e-filing a better way to record 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.

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite 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 workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    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 get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.

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

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: 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 some services cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five 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 — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven 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 as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”

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

    It is very important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.