Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on the exact 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. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish 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 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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 option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances 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 yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re 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 preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to use a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.