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

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

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

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, 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 the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.

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

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

The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 

  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but 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 most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over 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 — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.

    “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety 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’s very important to employ a trusted service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not private.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just be sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.