Pros and Cons of Filing Your Taxes Online

Filing Taxes Online

At Hacker accounting, our clients often ask us if there is any real benefit to filing your annual taxes online. The answer is yes, but as with everything, there are some drawbacks as well. Both are important to be aware of if you’re considering filing your taxes online.

Related: What Happens if I File My Business Taxes Late?

Pro: It’s convenient.

Con: It may be more expensive.

E-filing your taxes is popular because it’s easy and convenient. You can file online with the IRS from the convenience of your own couch or anywhere you have an internet connection. However, filing your taxes online may result in some extra expenses. The IRS e-file form is only free if you have an adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less. Depending on who you hire to help prepare your taxes, they may charge an extra fee for submitting your return electronically. And if you have chosen to prepare your taxes yourself, you may need a moderately expensive tax preparation software to file online.

Pro: You’re less likely to have errors.

Con: Electronic forms are limited and may be insufficient.

It’s all too easy to get a number wrong or forget to fill out an important blank when filing your tax return. The nice thing about e-filing is that you can’t move to the next page if you forget the important stuff. This can save you a lot of hassle and headache down the road and keep you from having to file an amended return. The downside: Only certain forms are available for e-file, so if you have a complicated return or make more than a certain amount, you may not be able to complete your taxes online.

Pro: Your information is legible.

Con: Your may be prone to identity theft.

Did you know that most of the audits conducted are to verify information that was entered illegibly on handwritten tax returns? Filing online ensures that your information is legible, which may actually decrease your chances of being audited. However, if you do choose to file online you should be careful about where you choose to do so. Public wifi hotspots can expose your personal information to hackers and open you up to identity theft. If your computer has any malware or spyware on it, that could also endanger your personal data. We recommend doing a virus scan before filing and always using private internet connection.

Related: 3 Signs of Identity Theft and What You Should Do

At Hacker Accounting, we’ve helped countless clients file their taxes online without a hitch. If you’re considering filing online, give us a call at 602-375-525 to see if it’s right for you.

Chris Hacker
Chris has been working in the bookkeeping and accounting field for over 15 years preparing business, income and payroll taxes. Chris has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State and is an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service.