Richard Branson Noosa Island – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might 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 because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms that you might 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 best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm 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 . 
  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 not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing so is simple.

    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.  The types do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
    2. Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

      Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

      Is e-filing really secure?

      While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue which should deter you by e-filing.

      “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

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

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

      Bottom line

      For most 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 effortless payment choices.  Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.