Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that 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 that you might need if 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 if it may be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some 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 does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- 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. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer 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 aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of licensed 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 favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to use a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.