Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital 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 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: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate 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.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- 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 providers appeal to particular 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 be aware this alternative is 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 expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to use a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.