Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few 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 electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
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 speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns 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. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the 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 information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
- Utilize 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 types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide 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. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on income, and some services appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of licensed 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. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.