Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on the exact 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 popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms you might need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm 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 submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: 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, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from your checking or savings account, submitting 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 tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is easy.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has turned out to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links “
It is important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection which is not private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since 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 certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.