Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that 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 not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any help, 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 forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software 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 yields. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “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 mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use 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 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 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 secure.