Sir Richard Branson Quotes – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely 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. 

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are 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 . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to 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 choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, 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 means there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is simple.

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $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 basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers 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 yields.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record 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 tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.

    “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

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

    It is very important to employ a trusted service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.