Stephen Covey Effective Communication – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the same page in regards 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’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms you might need if you have a intricate 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 requirements.

If you’re 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 one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, 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. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s 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 by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.

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

  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications 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 forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns 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 very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue that should deter you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

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

    It is important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which is not 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 effortless payment options.  Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.