Last Updated: November 9, 2009
It's no longer a novelty. According the Internal Revenue Service, two of every three individual taxpayers filed electronic returns in 2009. Or put another way, a record 95 million returns were e-filed and more than one-third of electronic filers did so from their home computers.
"To be sure, e-filing has its benefits," said FPA member Mark Kaizerman, CFP®, CPA/PFS, ChFC, CLTC, a managing principal at Kaizerman & Associates and author of "Beneficiary Directory — Your Personal System to Organize Your Important Documents and Guide Your Beneficiaries."
But Kaizerman noted that filing your taxes — whether electronically or not — should be done with the help of a financial professional, no matter how simple your return. "Yes, you may get your refund quicker, but it does not make the forms or need for supporting documentation any easier," said Kaizerman. "It's possible that filing from your home computer creates a trade-off. The completeness and accuracy of filings may suffer for the ease and convenience of pressing that send button on your computer."
So, before hitting send, consider making an appointment with a financial professional who can review your tax return. Also, consider this suggestion from FPA member Dale Walters, CFP®, CPA, PFS, of Keats, Connelly and Associates: "Make sure you have privacy safeguards on your computer."