Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the 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.
And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by 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, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices 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 have the ability 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 types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing 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 returns. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that isn’t private.
For many 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 effortless payment options. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.