Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might 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.
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 digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you may need if 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 choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood 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 issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can 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 money 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 option 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 fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for filing 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 be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can simply 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 options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- 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 typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option 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 anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system 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 information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.