Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on 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.
And in return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was 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 publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by 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. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- 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.
- Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your earnings without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an online tax preparation tax or service software: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to complete 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 types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and a few providers appeal to particular demographic groups. 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 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 software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “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 data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to use a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.