Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on 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 filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: 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 your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can 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 less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing so 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 could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it may 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 mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.