Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the 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. E-filing is popular as it’s 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 don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. 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.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: 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 your forms have arrived safely.
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 receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around 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 yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
- 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.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide 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 returns. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.