Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually 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 may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months 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 mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to 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. Additionally you have the choice 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 commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. 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 an easy way to complete 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 finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups. For instance, 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 yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.