Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not 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 are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience 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. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting 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) can result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.
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.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software providers 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 forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield 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 certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.