Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months 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: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
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 not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“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, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because 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 make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.