Richard Branson – 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’re largely on precisely the exact 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 popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

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

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may 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 speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with 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 issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money 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 the checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.

How to e-file a tax return?

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

The types do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 

  • Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

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

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

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

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

    Bottom line

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