Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the 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.
And in return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
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 whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks 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 accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- 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.
- 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 forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy 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 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 typically limited based on earnings, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies 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 is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.