Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.
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 has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment 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 speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds 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. 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 fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability 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 help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy 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 finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. 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 preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
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 particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to employ a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.