Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm 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 safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is 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 issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software 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 will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as 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 the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 effortless payment options. Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.