Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely 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 popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us 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, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm 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 publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given 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 process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt 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 be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but 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 most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal 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 the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to employ a trusted service that will assist you file 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 yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.