Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are 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 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 faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a complex 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 choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm 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 safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may 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 may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate 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 information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
- Utilize 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 forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some services appeal to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- 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 authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to employ a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.