Suze Orman 2019 – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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 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 a favorite as it’s 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 don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might 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 have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking 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) will result in interest and penalties.

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

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

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It is important to employ a trusted service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.

    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 options.  Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.