Is e-filing really a much 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.
And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering 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 digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- 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 taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can 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 information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.