Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of 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 workers do not have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few 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 digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish 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 can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed 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 is easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, submitting 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 penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so that you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.