Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page in regards 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 because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day 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’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed 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 pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good 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?
- 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 taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to steer 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 help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers cater to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they are authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of licensed providers, but 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 the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected 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 — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 effortless payment choices. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.