Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the exact 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.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: 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 safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate 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.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as 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 only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: 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 cater to particular demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored 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 be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you from 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 leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can 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 specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to employ a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since 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 sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.