Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are mostly on precisely the exact 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. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic 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 months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1% 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 process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is easy.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you by 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 leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.