Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely on 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.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might 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 received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. 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 preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very 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 return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.