Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are largely on precisely the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, especially if you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let us look at the benefits of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks 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 accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.
Simple 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 afterwards if needed, provided that you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic money 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 option to pay your balance by using 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 lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
Using online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated more than four tax returns to be filed through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter 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 as opposed to exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
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 which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return because it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you may make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.