Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the 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. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may 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 speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is 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 information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay from 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 choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing 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) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few services appeal to specific 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 returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, 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 information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to use a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield 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 certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.