Richard Branson Virgin Atlantic – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely 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. 

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if 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 have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s 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 issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.

You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any 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 these kinds. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • 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 normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade 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 leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return 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 make sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.