Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? 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 ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t 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’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed 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 most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “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 set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.