Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly 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.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you’ve got a intricate 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 choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three 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 mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
- Use 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 types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers 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 complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups. 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 preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to employ a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.