Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
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 are going to get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns 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. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as 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 your checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales 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 information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is 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 that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.