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 when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted 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 money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish 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 not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if 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. And you’re able to 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
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 be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping 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 authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four 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 this isn’t an issue that should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.