Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on precisely the exact 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. E-filing is popular as 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 employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm 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 .
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 get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns 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. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
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 offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own 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. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups. For instance, 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 you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because 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 be certain to use tax planning 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 secure.