Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need in case 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 if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent 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 returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is 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 anticipated over four tax returns to be filed 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 that should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “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 employ a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it’s 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 that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.