Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on the exact 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.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability 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 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 simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 easy payment choices. Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.