Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on 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’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been 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 be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then 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 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 forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options 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 financing 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 yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, 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 worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
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. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to use a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.