Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely the 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 popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need in case you have 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 thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that 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’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, 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.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, 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 accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- 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 offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to particular 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, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by 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 direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information 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. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to use a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.