Suze Orman How Am I Doing Worksheet – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page when it comes 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’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you might need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. 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 receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to 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 info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice 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 fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.

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

  • 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 offer basic advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

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

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”

    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 specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

    It’s important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.