Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the exact 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.
In return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of 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. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in 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, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you may be able to use the IRS Free File program. The forms do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep 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 programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own 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 yields. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some services cater to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a database 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 favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should deter you from 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 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 information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to employ a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to 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 yield 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 make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.