Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? 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 ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm 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 submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately 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.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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 Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, 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 tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
You have four choices 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 could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide 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 typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific 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 record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you from 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, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.