Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on precisely the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
In return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need in case 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 requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation 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 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 receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to receive your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy 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 needed, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to easily send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, as long as the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing 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 lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic copy of your tax documents. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
Using online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem that should dissuade you from 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 fact, 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 email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, explains the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is very important to use a trusted service that will help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an online connection that is not confidential.
For many 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 effortless payment options. Just make certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.