Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might 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 filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are 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 your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to be given 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 likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately 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 returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings account, filing 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 implies there is an electronic copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
- 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 all these forms.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide 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 yields. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers cater to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers that are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax preparation 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 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 this is not a problem that should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can 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 that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to use a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.