Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the 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 as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering 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 that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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 choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your 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) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could 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 assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple 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 life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated 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 be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you by 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 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 rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which is not private.
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 effortless payment options. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.