Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely the exact 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 can get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few 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 does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
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 be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not 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,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to use a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 easy payment options. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.