Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got 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 best filing choice for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital 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 may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices 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 life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.
- 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 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 you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored 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 secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.