Working For Richard Branson – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. 

And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need if you have 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 very best filing option for your needs.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours 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 can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  And you’re able to 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 option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in penalties and interest.

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

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

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

The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with all these forms. 

  • Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. 
  • Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.

    Is e-filing really secure?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.

    “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”

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

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit 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 that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.