Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the same page when it comes 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 because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent 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 is simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Use 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. The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your 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 yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred 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 stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should deter you from 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 direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t private.
For most 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 easy payment options. Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.