Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic 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 receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with 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 info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation 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 liberated. 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 returns. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that is not private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.