Stephen R Covey – 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’re largely on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about security?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that 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’ll get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

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

  3. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, 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 means there is an electronic copy of your tax records.  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 advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.

You have four choices for submitting 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 could be able to use the IRS Free File program.  The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
    2. Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax help: 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 a few services cater to particular demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
    4. 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 authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really secure?

While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue that should deter you from e-filing.

“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”

Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “

It is important to use a trusted service to assist you record 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 return because it is the most convenient way to file 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 will be kept protected.