Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the exact same page in regards 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 save the IRS cash because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the 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 information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep 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 programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances 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 returns. However, eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated 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 so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very important to use a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.