Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering 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 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems 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, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, 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) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Use 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 forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide 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 normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is 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 more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is important to employ a trusted service to 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 makes sense to e-file a return since 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 preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.