Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of 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 could get any refund you are owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you have a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment 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 not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to easily 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 Direct pay service from the checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The forms do the math for you and offer standard advice. You can simply do your federal return with these kinds.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected over four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should deter you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal 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 safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is 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 utilize an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment choices. Just make sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.