Richard Branson Sustainability – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% 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 yields compared with paper yields.

  3. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience when 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.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

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

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

How to e-file a tax return?

You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

    1. Utilize 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 are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
    3. Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

Is e-filing really stable?

While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not an issue that should deter you by e-filing.

“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

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

It is very important to employ a trustworthy service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not private.

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.