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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely the exact 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. 

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

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms 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 advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.

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

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, 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 yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

    “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It is very important to employ a trusted service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that 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 easy payment options.  Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.