Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re 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 popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might 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 whether it might 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 received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing 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 result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: 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 some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not 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 network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to use a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 effortless payment options. Just be sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.