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 exact 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. E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there 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’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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 process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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 option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options 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 could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without 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 all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very 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 in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that 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 of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.