Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there 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’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can 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 can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct 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.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software 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 will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since 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 set security measures in place to keep your information 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 employ a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.