Tony Robbins Facebook – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

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

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

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

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s 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 information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money 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. You also have the option 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 fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.

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

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

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

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program.  The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
    2. Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    3. Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

Is e-filing really secure?

While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue that should deter you from e-filing.

“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”

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

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

Bottom line

For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.