Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page in regards 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 conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you are owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given 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 chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent 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 returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, 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’s a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The types do the math for you and offer standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — especially with so many 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 an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is very important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just make certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.