Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, 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 yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances 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 yields. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to particular 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 licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as 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, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.