Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all 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 could find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might 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 may be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with 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 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 convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing 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 backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
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 less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your 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 returns. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.