Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on precisely the 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. E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been 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 submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: 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 problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
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 less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. 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 prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you by 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 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 use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because 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 be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.