Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact 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.
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 can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need in case 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 best filing choice for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing 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’s a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options 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 standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep 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 apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that 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 revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.
For many 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 easy payment options. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.