Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on precisely 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.
In return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital 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 be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment process: 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, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, 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) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital copy of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
You have four choices for filing 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 Types — If your income is more than $72,000 and you’re 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 standard guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
- Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax software: Tax prep software and online filing services are options. These choices are an easy way to finish and e-file your forms. Some software suppliers charge for their apps, Some are liberated. The software 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 yields. However, eligibility for free aid is typically limited based on income, and some providers appeal to specific demographic groups. The IRS maintains a record 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. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem which 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 direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible 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 options. Just make sure to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.