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

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the exact 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 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 workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup 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 benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.

The way to e-file a tax return?

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these forms. 
    2. Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

Is e-filing really secure?

While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.

“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data 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 require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”

It is important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.

Bottom line

For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit 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 you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.