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 precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees do not have 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 to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes 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’s easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- 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.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. 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 preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are liberated. The software asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get free, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they’re licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is 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 expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should dissuade you by 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, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to employ a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s 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 to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.