Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the exact 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.
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. In return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to 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 Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- 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 types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an internet 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 forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: 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 providers cater to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, 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 worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, 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 email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that is not private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since 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 be sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.