Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm 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 safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards 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, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is simple.
- 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 Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized 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 most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.