Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your 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) can result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — 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 over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very 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 as you’re sending your private 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 data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is 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 internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.