Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when 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 can 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 making use of the IRS Immediate 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 information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s 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 opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances 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 returns. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very important to employ a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.