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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. 

In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide 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 benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.

If you’re thinking about e-filing, some 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 digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that 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 your checking account or savings account, filing 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 means there’s a digital backup of your tax documents.  So 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 this is easy.

How to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  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 favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.