Zig Ziglar Goal Setting System – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

Americans and the IRS may 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.  E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.

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

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely. 
  2. Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  3. Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is 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 issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.

  4. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.

  5. Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents.  So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.

The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.

How to e-file a tax return?

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

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

  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.  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 prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.

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

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

    It’s important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that isn’t private.

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.