Is e-filing a much 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you might need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is 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 yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking 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 means there is a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could 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 earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that 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 option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since 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 make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.