Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not need 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 you may need if 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 if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, 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.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage when 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, 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) will result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. 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 service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers 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 types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative 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. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file 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 trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.