Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on 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.
And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic 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’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might 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 obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is 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 info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account 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 information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good 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 filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored 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 stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s very important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.