Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all 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 do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
- Use 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. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep 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 program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, 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 set safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s very important to use a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection which 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 choices. Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.