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 the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you are Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm 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 can take six to eight weeks to be given 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 process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The types do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this is not an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to employ a trustworthy service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment options. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.