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

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

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

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

And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not 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, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of 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. 

  4. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic 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?

    1. Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program.  The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
    2. Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation 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 free.   The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

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

Is e-filing really stable?

While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from 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 leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”

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

It is important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not private.

Bottom line

For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices.  Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.