Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on precisely the 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 popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you might need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with 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 issues 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 if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds 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. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Utilize 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 Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep 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 software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that 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 connections.”
It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.