Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of 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.
And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually give 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 benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, 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 the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt 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 advice. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software 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 yields. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted 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 alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s important to employ a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit 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 dependable source, so that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.