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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly 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.  E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

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

If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been 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. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic funds 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 making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.

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

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

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

  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, 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 all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, 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 network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense 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 make certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.