Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day 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 can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll 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 approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your 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 is a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize 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 provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers 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.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information 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 secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to employ a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield 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 certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.