Stephen Covey Matrix – 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 are mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.

If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.

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

  4. Easy payment procedure: 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 afterwards if necessary, 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 your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

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

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

  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • 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 normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.