Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it is 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 do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account 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 result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to file 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 you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.