Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the 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. E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need in case 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 whether it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent 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 returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your taxes without any assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on income, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of licensed 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 favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that 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 direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment options. Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.