Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not 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’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information 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 convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, 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 means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
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 not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without help, 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 online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which is not private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.