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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact 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.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about security?  And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: 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 . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage if 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 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 making use of 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.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax documents.  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 find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.

The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software 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 types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

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

    Is e-filing really stable?

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

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

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

    It’s important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just make certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.