Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to easily 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 making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
You have four choices 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 earnings without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four 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 security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since 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 make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.