Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms you may 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 if it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm 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 safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple 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 afterwards 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 Direct 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 tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic 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. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative 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 expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can 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, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to employ a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.