Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might 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 submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, 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) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may be able to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — 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 provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide 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 yields. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can 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 set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.