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

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

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

Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. 

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

But what about security?  And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your needs.

If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely. 

    Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.

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

  3. Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. 

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

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

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

    1. Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. 
    2. Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance.  You can only do your federal return with these forms. 
    3. Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.  
    4. Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields.  However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. 
    5. Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed 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 preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.

Is e-filing really secure?

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

“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states 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 system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”

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

It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.

Bottom line

For many 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 options.  Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.