Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely 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.
And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process 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. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s 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 is not private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because 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 that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.