Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about 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 filed to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you can get 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 give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you have a intricate 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’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been 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 publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to 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 info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: 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 needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account 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 data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to use a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.