Tracy Stuart Sweet Briar – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, 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.

  3. Easy payment process: 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 by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

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

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    3. Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    4. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed 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 anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really stable?

While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.

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

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

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

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is 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 preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.