Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re 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.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS money because its workers don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about security? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all of the forms you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived .
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s 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 process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, 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 using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a commission, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to interest and penalties.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s a digital backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those advantages — and the practice of doing this is easy.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The forms do the math for you and offer basic advice. You can only do your federal return with these forms.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is suitable, you could worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you by e-filing.
“In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the mail.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has put security measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s important to use a trusted service to help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.