Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re largely on precisely the 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 a favorite as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can 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 of the forms you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your needs.
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 submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, 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 taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The forms do the math for you and offer basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four 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 so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information safe. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links “
It’s very important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which is not private.
For many 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 easy payment options. Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.