Stephen Covey Seven Habits – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice 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 affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not 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 receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is around 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 problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by 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, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.

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

The types do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   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 returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected 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 security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you from e-filing.

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

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because 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 be sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.