Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re 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.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may 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 choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t 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’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is 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 issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, filing 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 means there is an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing 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 yields. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very 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 over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should deter 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 leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
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 use an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.