Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely 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.
In return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really 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 not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get 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% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer 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 options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.