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 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 find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic 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 months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
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 may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without assistance, 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 these kinds.
- Utilize 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 providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which 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 leadership, 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 rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is 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 that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.