Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are 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. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you might need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option 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 commission, 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 tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax documents. So 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 so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue that should deter you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very 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 as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very important to employ a trusted service to assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an internet connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.