Stephen Covey Accident – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the exact 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 because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

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

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as 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 account, submitting 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 a digital copy of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 

  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network 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 information secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

    It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a 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’s 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 planning software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.