Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on 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. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need in case 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 very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
You have four options for submitting 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 Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized 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.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred 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 could be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 easy payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.