Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on 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 if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
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’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay 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 making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your 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 tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — 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 only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, 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 income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed 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 favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can 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 information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to employ a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not private.
For most 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 choices. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.