Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic 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’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. 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) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
- 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. The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s 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 to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.