Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are 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. E-filing is a favorite as 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 don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever 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 are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around 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 problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as 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 account or savings account, filing 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 implies there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. 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 find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is simple.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use 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.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re 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 guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online 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 own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, 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 providers cater to specific demographic groups.
- 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 database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to employ a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because 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 make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.