Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on 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 submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages 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 have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as 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 earnings without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program 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 can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may 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 data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put 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’s important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.