Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on 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.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you may need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you are 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 does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate 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 mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing 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 information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then 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 this is easy.
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 have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances 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. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than 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 be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.