Stephen M R Covey – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

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

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

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

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is 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 info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using 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. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

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

  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete 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 financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

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

    It is important to employ a trusted service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just make sure to 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.