Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they are largely on the same page when it comes 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 as it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms that you might need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your convenience when you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking account or savings account, submitting a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the process of doing this is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Using online tax preparation 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 program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to employ a trustworthy service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t private.
For most 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 effortless payment choices. Just be sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.