Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS cash because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can get any refund you are owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, 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 returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected over four in five 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 this is not a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“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 data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use a trusted service to assist you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.