Stephen Covey Mission Statement Builder – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you’ve got 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 may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are 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 that your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that 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 the checking 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.

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

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

How to e-file a tax return?

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

The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to specific 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 database 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.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem which 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 network rather than exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It’s important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not private.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.