Wonder Years Ben Stein – Is It Best To E-File My Taxes?

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the exact same page in regards 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 save the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms you might need if you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.

If you’re Considering 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 electronic 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 months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  3. Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, 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 returns.

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

  5. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.

    1. Use 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 basic guidance.  You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds. 
    2. Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options.  These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.  
    3. Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one. 

Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really stable?

While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you from e-filing.

“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”

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

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

Bottom line

For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return 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 sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.