Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to 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 your checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting 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 advice. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation 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 filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since 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 planning software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.