Warren Buffett Book Quotes – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

And in return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

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

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% 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 yields.

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct 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. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

How to e-file a tax return?

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

The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep 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 programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option 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 expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should deter you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible 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 choices.  Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.