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Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes? 

Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are 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.  E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.

But what about safety?  And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.

If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been received: 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 publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less.  Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.

  2. Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file.  It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. 

  4. Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records.  If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.

How to e-file a tax return?

You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any 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 forms. 
  • Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options.  These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances 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 returns.  But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.  For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.  The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 

    Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.

    “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 mail.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure.  “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”

    It’s very important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection that is not private.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options.  Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.