Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely 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’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a intricate 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 best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with 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 issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
- Use 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 Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed 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 preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is important to employ a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since 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 certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.