Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely 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.
And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex 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 very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are 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 can 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 not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, 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) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
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 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 taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated 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 safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data 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 secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s important to use a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.