Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, 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 email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is important to use a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.