Who’s Dale Carnegie – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact 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. 

If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

However, what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

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

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by 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, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting 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 is an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.

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

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.  The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these forms. 
    2. Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
    3. Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

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 a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.

“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”

Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says.  “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”

It’s important to employ a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t 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 easy payment choices.  Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.