Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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 yields.
Simple payment procedure: 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 afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate 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 tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use 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 forms do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own 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 yields. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you from 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, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data 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 secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.