Is e-filing a much 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.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t 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 Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm 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 can take six to eight weeks 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 chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by 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 or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may be worried about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of 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 to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.