The Divine Center Stephen Covey – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. 

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

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital 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 receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is 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 problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, 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.

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

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

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment choices.  Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.