Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s 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 by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of 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.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you could have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and financing to steer 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 help is normally restricted based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s important to employ a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return 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 be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.