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

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on 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 filed to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

However, what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 
  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 not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.

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

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier 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.  And you can schedule electronic money 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. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of tax data: 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 decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 

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

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter you by 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, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can 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 mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is 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 that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.