Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on 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 submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you are 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 you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is 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 information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate 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. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
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 may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing 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 aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over 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 — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 easy payment choices. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.