Warren Buffett Kids – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might 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 submitted to the IRS are e-filed. 

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 

    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 three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, 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.

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

  4. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

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

  • Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with these kinds. 
  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid 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 helping filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.

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

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

    It is important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.