Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the exact 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. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are 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 your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given 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 procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: 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 a few services appeal to specific 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 yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield 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 make certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.