Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you could find any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about security? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms you may need if you have a intricate 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 best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation 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 your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s 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.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
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 that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection which is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.