Warren Buffett College Major – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

Is e-filing a 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. 

And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

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

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t 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 are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage when 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’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking 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 information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.

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

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

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The types do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 
    2. Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
    4. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

      Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

      Is e-filing really stable?

      While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.

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

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

      It is important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that isn’t confidential.

      Bottom line

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