Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it’s 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.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that 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, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.
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 not as you may have the ability to use the IRS Free File program.
- Free File Fillable Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you are comfortable doing your taxes without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax preparation software and online filing services are options. These options are an easy way to finish and e-file your own forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are free. The software asks you simple questions about your life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.
- Get free, in-person tax aid: In most states, you will find volunteers to help prepare and e-file yields. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater to particular demographic groups. For instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on helping filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but 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 most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you from 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 information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is very important to employ a trustworthy service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection that isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since 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 certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.