Stephen Covey Diary – 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 are mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

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’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 
  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 speed up the refund process.

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

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, 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) will result in interest and penalties.

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.

How to e-file a tax return?

The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these forms. 

  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

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

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.

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

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

    It is very important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that is not private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s 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 preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.