Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re 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’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, 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 yields.
Simple 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 later 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 Immediate pay service from your 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 implies there is a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
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 less you may have the ability 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 all these kinds.
- Utilize an online 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 forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program 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 will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few providers cater to specific demographic groups. For example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this option 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 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 suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these 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 as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that is not private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.