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

Is e-filing really a much better way to record 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.

The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. 

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

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 intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct 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. 

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Forms — 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 types do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
    3. Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

Is e-filing really secure?

While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.

“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal 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 put security measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”

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

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 easy payment choices.  Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.