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

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

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

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all of 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 benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

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

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

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks 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 speed up the refund process.

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

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to easily 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 account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process 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.

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 
    2. Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really stable?

While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.

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

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

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

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is 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 that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.