Stephen Covey Trust – 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 exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

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

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment 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 are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s 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 yields compared with paper yields.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  You can 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 funds 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 using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing 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 result in penalties and interest.

  4. 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 a digital backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 
    3. Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups. 
    5. 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 authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative 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 expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really secure?

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

“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than 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 information safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “

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

Bottom line

For many taxpayers, it is sensible 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 easy payment options.  Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.