Stephen Covey Sharpen The Saw – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not 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 Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours 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 may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately 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 issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by 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 account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax documents.  So 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 benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.

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

  • Use 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 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 complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

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

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security 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’s very important to use a trusted service to assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield 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 be sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.