Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the exact 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.
In return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing really provide you access to all of the forms that you may need if you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day 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 may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there’s around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to 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 Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings accounts, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is 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 opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.
The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with all these kinds.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In actuality, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “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 trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.