Stephen Covey Leader In Me – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the 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. 

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about security?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 

    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’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

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

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

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

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

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

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

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security 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 employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

    For most 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 choices.  Just be sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.