Warren Buffett The Office – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

Is e-filing really a much better way to record 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.  E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of 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 if it may be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from 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. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

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

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

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program 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 can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”

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

    It is important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

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