Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms that you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few 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 electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, 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 result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy 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 get those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
- Utilize 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 assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, 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 suitable, you may be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.
For most 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 make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.