Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely 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 a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation 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 your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage 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. 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, filing 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) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
You have four choices 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 be able 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 help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that 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, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.