Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are 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 that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not. 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% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will 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.
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- Utilize 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. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few providers cater to particular demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. 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 preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.
For many 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 easy payment options. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.