Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the same page when it comes 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 is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all the forms you might need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic 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 may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, filing 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 means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
- 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 Types — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these kinds.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to complete and e-file your forms. Some software providers charge for their programs, Some are free. The program asks you simple questions about your life and finances to guide you through the completion of your types.
- 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 typically limited based on earnings, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. By way of instance, Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs focus primarily on assisting filers who are 60 and older. The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but 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 the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which should deter 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 direction, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make sure that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.