Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely 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. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been 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 publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors 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 is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also 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. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
- 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 forms do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater 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.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to use a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.