Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on 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 a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation 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 that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later 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 your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- 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.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, 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. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should deter you by 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 may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.