Is e-filing 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 when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital 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 get your money in 3 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 percent 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.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. 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. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.
“In fact, 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 data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection that isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because 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 that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.