Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly 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. E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been 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 publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can 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 Direct pay service from your 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 taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — 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 less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: 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 suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. 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 aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield 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 be sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.