Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely 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 a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could 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 of the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages 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 confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, 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) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.
How 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 any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own 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 returns. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is 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 expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out 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 since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data 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 require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 easy payment options. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.