Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely the exact 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.
And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not 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 get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking 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 interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so 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 may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible 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 preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.