Robert Kiyosaki Logo – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page when it comes 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 as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex 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 best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours 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 can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using 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. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

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

The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • 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. 
  • 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 authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you from 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 sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since 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 data secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”

    It is important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield 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 preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.