Tony Robbins Good Morning America – 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 on everything, but they are largely on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking 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) can result in penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

The types do the math for you and offer basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with these kinds. 

  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • 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 earnings, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record 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 most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by 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 direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information 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 data safe.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.