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 same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all 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.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you’ve got 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, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not 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 likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, 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.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices 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 more than $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without assistance, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Use an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms. Some applications suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your own 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 normally restricted based on income, and a few services cater to specific demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers that are 60 and older.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, such as CPAs, can e-file returns for you if they’re authorized IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a database of licensed providers, but be aware this alternative is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to employ a trustworthy service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.