Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you are 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 one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing 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 implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able 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 online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer 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. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, 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 convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to 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 secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible 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 to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.