Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm 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 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 accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing 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 result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy 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 find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.
- 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 authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation 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 software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very 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 internet connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s 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 trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.