Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly 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. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give 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 us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may 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 not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, 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 returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate 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. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic 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 get those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- 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. The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances 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 returns. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to employ a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.