Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the exact 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. 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 save the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really 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 not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are 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 that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: 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 from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but 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. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.