Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted 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’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms you may need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation 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 that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that 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 or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you by 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, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “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 the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.