Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely 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. E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns 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. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, 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 is an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able 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 kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very 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 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 security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For many 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 make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.