Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the 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. E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t 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’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital 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 can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to 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 making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account 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 result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options 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 could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated 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 security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.