Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact 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 because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been 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 weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to 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 problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as 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 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 an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize 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 types do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater 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 record of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies 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 links “
It’s important to employ a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.