Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page in regards 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 quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some 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 doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection that is not confidential.
For many 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 easy payment options. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.