Stephen Covey 7 Habits Model – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re 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 a favorite because it is 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 don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits 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 confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice 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. 

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

  • 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 guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

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

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information 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 trusted service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since 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 make certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.