Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the 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. E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: 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 .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors 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 simpler to cover 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 choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt 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. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer 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 typically limited based on earnings, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make sure to 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.