Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not 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 three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own 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 yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers cater 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, including 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 option 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 expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, 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 mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not private.
For most 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 easy payment options. Just be sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.