Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day 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 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 likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s 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 information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option 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 fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to employ a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection which isn’t private.
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 easy payment choices. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.