Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the same page in regards 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 as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms you may need if you’ve got 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 might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish 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 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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 option 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 fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
- 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.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, 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 worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should dissuade 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, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is very important to employ a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since 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 that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.