Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page when it comes 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 money because its employees do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about 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 digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.
You have four choices 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 be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you from 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 direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety 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’s very important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because 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 trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.