Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the 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 popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that 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 benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering 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 one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t 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 are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is 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 by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital 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 so 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 forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer 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 income, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is 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 in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.