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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all 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.

In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.

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 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 may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the 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 penalties and interest.

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

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

    “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It is very important to use a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which is not private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.