Stephen Covey Priority Matrix – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on the exact 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.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may 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 received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was 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 submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is around 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 yields compared with paper returns.

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting 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 records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide 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 options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

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

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

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

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

    It is important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s 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 dependable source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.