Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the exact 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. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit 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 can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than 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 safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to use a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 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 supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.