Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely 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 is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
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 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file. You can 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 choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
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 less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers 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 you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data 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 token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s very important to employ a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because 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 that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.