Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s 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 returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from 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 account 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
- Use IRS Free File: If your adjusted gross income is $72,000 or less you could be able to use the IRS Free File program. The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your own life and finances to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. But eligibility for free help is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services appeal to particular demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but be aware this alternative is very likely to be the most costly one.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return 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 sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.