Richard Branson Test Flight Crash – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. 

In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need in case 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 if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital 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 may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, 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 process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct 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. 

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

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

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from 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 direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

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

    It’s important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which isn’t private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just be certain that you use tax planning 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 secure.