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 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.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic 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 months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with 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 information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account 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 implies there is an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less 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 taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your 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 free, in-person tax aid: 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. By way of example, 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 option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing 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 tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to employ a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t private.
For most 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 dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.