Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case 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 may be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you are 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 digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily 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 Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing 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) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- 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.
- Free File Fillable Types — 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 provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide 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 normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred 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 suitable, you could worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is 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 use an internet connection that isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be sure that you use tax planning 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 secure.