Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been 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 that 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 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may 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 yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience 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. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as 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 assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use 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 own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups. For 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 be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these 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 an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.