Richard Branson Parkinson’s – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.

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 one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that 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 get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent 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 returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could 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 assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    3. Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed 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 most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

Is e-filing really stable?

While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem that should dissuade you by 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 data in the mail.”

Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data 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 employ a trusted service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that is not private.

Bottom line

For many taxpayers, it makes sense 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 options.  Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.