Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on 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.
In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: 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 that 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 three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, 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 means there is a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, 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 so is easy.
You have four choices for filing 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 have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete 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 finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade 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 direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to employ a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.