Stephen Coveys Time Management Matrix – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are 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’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

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

But what about security?  And can electronic filing actually 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 us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: 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 your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as 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 accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, 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 help: 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 a few providers cater to specific demographic groups.  By way of 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’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed 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 preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.

    “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to 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.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”

    It’s very important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.