Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the exact 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
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 are going to receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, 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.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, 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, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this 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 may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. 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 finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over 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 security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because 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 sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.