Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you have 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 might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic 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 may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less 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 these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances 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 yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade 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, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to employ a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.