Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay 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’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. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account 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 implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are 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 provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is important to employ a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.