Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are 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 save the IRS cash because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a intricate 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 very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering 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 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 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 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler 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. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking 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 a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
The way 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 be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are an easy way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over 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 security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains 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’s very important to employ a trustworthy service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 options. Just make sure 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 will be kept secure.