Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been 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 submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice 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 commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic 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.
- Utilize 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 Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to finish 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 aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal 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 set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to employ a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.