Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely 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 is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is 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 problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, 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 will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred 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 stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal 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 data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.