Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the same page when it comes 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 is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide 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. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who 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.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to employ a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.