Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about 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 popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been 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 may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free. 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 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 earnings, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred 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 software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that 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 fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to employ a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because 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 be sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.