Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, 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 means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — 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 be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide 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 a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.
- 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 database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection which isn’t private.
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 sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.