Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- 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 are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- 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 normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but you should 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 expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to employ a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.