Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite as 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 workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been 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 publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with 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 yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to 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 option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct 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. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
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 may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than 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 — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade 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, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to use a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For many 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 choices. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.