Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on precisely the exact 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 popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account 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 means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers cater to particular 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, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing 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 in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s very important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment choices. Just be sure to use tax preparation 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 protected.