Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards 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 option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate 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’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- 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. The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax 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 software providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide 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 normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected 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 may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should dissuade you by 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 direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible 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 be sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.