Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may 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. E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms you might need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are 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 that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to 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’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing 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 penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so 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 offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to complete and e-file your own forms. Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to steer you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax aid: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. By way of example, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file returns 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 preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not a problem which should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to use a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For most 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 easy payment options. Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.