Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need if you have 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 very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment 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 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct 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 tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers 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 help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem that should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.