Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
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 not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Use 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 Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups. For example, 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 you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation 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 software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection that is not private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.