Stephen Covey Quadrant System – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may 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 submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

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

However, what about security?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software 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 yields.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  By way of example, 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 be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

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

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.

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

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s 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 dependable source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.