Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might 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 filed to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save 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, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
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’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, 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 taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. So 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 easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers 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 free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because 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 make sure that you 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 secure.