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 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 cash because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever 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 affirmation your forms have been obtained: 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 .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the 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) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very 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 anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue that should deter you from 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 leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to 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 data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since 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 be sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.