Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the 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.
And in return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need in case 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 best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that 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 the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Use 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 types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater to specific demographic groups. 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 prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five 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 — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.