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

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you have 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 may be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from 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 Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.

  4. Digital storage of tax data: 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 find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.

You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    2. Use an online 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 own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but 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 most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

      Is e-filing really secure?

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

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

      Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

      It is very important to employ a trusted service to assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not confidential.

      Bottom line

      For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since 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 be certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.