Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent 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 returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax documents. 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 practice of doing this is simple.
- Utilize 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 provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most 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 secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as 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, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service to help you record 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 since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.