Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on the exact 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. E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there 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 choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate 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.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
You have four options 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 be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since 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 that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.