Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms that you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit 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 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple 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 necessary, provided that you pay from 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 choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) will lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The forms do the math for you and provide standard advice. You can only do your federal return with all these forms.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to employ a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since 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 to use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.