Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are 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 .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, 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) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this option 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 over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very important to employ a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.