Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all 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 get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately 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 issues 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 advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also 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 commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — 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.
- Utilize 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.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who 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 record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.