Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on the same page in regards 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 as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent 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 returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, 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) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “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 use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.
For many 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 options. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.