Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on precisely the exact 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.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that 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 whether it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment 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 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately 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 issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, submitting 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 interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability 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 earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. 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 will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four 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 safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which is not private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s 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 that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.