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 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you’ve got a complex 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 best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so 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 could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record 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 favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should deter 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 leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to 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 easy payment choices. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.