Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the exact 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 find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital 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 may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is 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 information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- 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 types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to finish 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 help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most 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 stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use 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 that isn’t 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 sure 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 secure.