Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted 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 money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks 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 process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, 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 yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to 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 your checking account or savings accounts, submitting 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. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: 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 some services appeal to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to employ a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because 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 that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.