Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
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 intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic 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 months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if 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 choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is 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 more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to employ a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not 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 sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.