Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the 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 is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may 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 speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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 yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover 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. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that 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 account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide 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 filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not 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,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “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 data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that 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 be sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.