Is e-filing really a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re 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 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup 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 find those advantages — and the practice of doing this 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 advice. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, 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 convenient, you may be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade 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 direction, advertising 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 as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to employ a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.