Suze Orman Budget Tools – 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 mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm 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 may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.

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

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.

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

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    2. Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
    3. 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 normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

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

Is e-filing really stable?

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

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

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

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

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.