Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on 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. E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given 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: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account 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) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: 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 some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is important to employ a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.