Stephen Covey 10 Principles – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

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

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all 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 whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

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

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

  3. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s 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 returns compared with paper returns.

  4. Simple 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 necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to 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 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 commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.

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

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   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 returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields 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 likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.

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

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

    It is 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 which isn’t private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because 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 certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.