Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on 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 a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever 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 requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: 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 .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice 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 data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records. So 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 so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice. 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 own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide 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 yields. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most 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 stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.