Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day 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 weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may 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% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, 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 lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising 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 rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense 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 easy payment options. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.