Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on 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. E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 can take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to 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 using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing 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 means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- 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 provide standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.
- 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 you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is important to employ a trustworthy service to help 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 because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.