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

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

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

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. 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.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms that you may need if you have a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation 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 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 get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

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

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.

  5. Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.

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

The way to e-file a tax return?

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide 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 alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing 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 yields.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups.  By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative 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 tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

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

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may 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 email.”

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

    It is important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t 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 effortless payment choices.  Just make certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.