Is e-filing a better way to file 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 is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish 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 not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can 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. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Use 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 Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and some providers appeal to specific 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 alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated 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 all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may 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 information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.