Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re largely on the same page when it comes 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.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its workers do not need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can digital filing actually give you access to all the forms that you may 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 might be the very best filing option for your needs.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital 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 weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing this is simple.
Employing 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 safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this is not an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your data in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to use 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 that is not private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return 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 certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.