Is e-filing really a much 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 when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed 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 find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm 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 .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent 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 returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. 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 fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize 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 all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment options. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.