Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you may need in case you’ve got 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 might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm 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 publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, 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 interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is 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 over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it can 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 information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.