Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely the exact 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.
And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% 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 yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience when 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 can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily 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 the checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll 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 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. The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.