Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly 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.
And in return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you may need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was 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 submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting 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) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use 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 types do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish 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 finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.