Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: 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 submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with 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 issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting 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 means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
How 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 less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups. By way of instance, 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 database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.