Zig Ziglar Goals Chart – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

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

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

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

But what about security?  And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have 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 might be the very best filing choice for your needs.

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

  1. Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that 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 can also speed up the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.

  3. Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if 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 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 making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents.  If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.

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

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 are comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can only do your federal return with all these kinds. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms.  Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.  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 prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this is not a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.

    “E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal 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 set safety measures in place to keep your information secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”

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

    Bottom line

    For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices.  Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.