Is e-filing a 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.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation 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 does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple 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 life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep 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 submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is 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 can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.