Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the exact 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that 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’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately 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 returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of 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.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may 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 earnings without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file yields 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 most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s very important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.