Is e-filing really 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’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: 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 that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can 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 accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors 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 simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, 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) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.
- 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 database of authorized 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. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four 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 is not a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very important to employ a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.