Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may 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 submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: 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 receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy 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 afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, 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) will result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated 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 may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection that isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since 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 to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.