Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital 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 weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money 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 choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing 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 lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may 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 information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to employ a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.