Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the exact 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.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: 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 your forms have arrived safely.
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 three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that 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 your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup 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 practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may 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 help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you by 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, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be 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 public computer or use an internet 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 options. Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.