Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation 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 does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s 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 problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option 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.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize 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 earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should 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. In fact, the IRS says it expected over 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 that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which isn’t private.
For many 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 be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.