Is e-filing a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its workers don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by 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 Immediate pay service from your checking or savings account, 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 implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — particularly with all these data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t a problem which should dissuade you from e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection that is not private.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be sure that you use tax planning software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept protected.