Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely 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 a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s 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 info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using 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.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
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 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 these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own 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 yields. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database 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. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you by 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 direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data 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 ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.