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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely on 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. 

And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

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

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. 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 are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

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

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

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    2. Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option 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.  Actually, the IRS says it expected 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 security — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.

“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, 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 mail.”

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

It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.

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 effortless payment options.  Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.