Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about 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 submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
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 less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing 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) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: 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 free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree 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,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to use a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection which is not private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.