Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all 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 workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us 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, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are 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 safely.
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 receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the 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 an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative 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 may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should deter you by 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, advertising 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 email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since 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 certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.