Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a complex 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 very best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few 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 can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience when 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 money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, 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. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able 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 taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances 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 returns. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
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 this is not an issue which should deter 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 leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to 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. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to employ a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not private.
For many 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 effortless payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.