Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on 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. E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent 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 returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing 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 penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only 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 alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed 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 preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should deter 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 data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s 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 isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.