Is e-filing a better way to record 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.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
But what about safety? And can digital filing actually give you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to pay at your convenience if 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 option to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate 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.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is simple.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most 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 suitable, you could be worried about security — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should deter 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 mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to employ a trusted service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection that isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you can ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.