Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm 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 publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- 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. The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers cater 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 database of authorized providers, but you should 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. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
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 specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.