What Is Warren Buffett’s Net Worth – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case 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 may be the very best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 . 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.

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

  4. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

  5. 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 good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.

How to e-file a tax return?

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’re comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, 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 a few providers cater to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected over 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 worry about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, 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 mail.”

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

    It’s important to employ a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield 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 preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.