Stephen Covey Priority Grid – 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 about 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 filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

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

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually give 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’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: 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 safely. 

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

  2. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, 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 returns.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage 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.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct 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. 

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since 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 preparation software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.