Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the 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.
In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about 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 digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking 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 information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
- 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 online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own 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. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.