Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly 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.
In return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was 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 publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is 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 problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
- 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. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but 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 program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For many 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 effortless payment choices. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.