Stephen Covey Torrent – 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’re mostly on 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.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about security?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.

If you are 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 one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice 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) can result in interest and penalties.

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

The types do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not 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 rather than exposing your information in the email.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.