Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the 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. E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly 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 have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
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 three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that 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, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your 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. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers appeal to specific demographic groups.
- 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 authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.