Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: 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 that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: 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 issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your convenience when 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. And you can 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 using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
- 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 Forms — If your income is more than $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 provide basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax preparation software and online filing services are alternatives. These choices are a simple way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their programs, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns. However, eligibility for free aid is normally restricted based on earnings, and a few services cater to particular demographic groups.
- Hire a paid preparer: Paid tax preparers, including CPAs, can e-file yields for you if they are licensed IRS e-file providers. The IRS maintains a record of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is likely to be the most costly one.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not a problem that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.