Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really provide 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 not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: 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 information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. 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 data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers 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.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized 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.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it can 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 mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.
For most 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 that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.