Warren Buffett Heinz – What to Consider When Filing My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on 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 because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about safety?  And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been 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 can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.

  5. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

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

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

    It’s very important to use a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s 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 to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.