Is e-filing really a better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the exact same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
But what about security? And can electronic filing really give you access to all of the forms you might need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the best filing choice for your requirements.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: 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 .
Timely refunds: When you publish 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 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced chance of mistakes: In accordance with 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 information on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: 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 necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic funds transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, 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 result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax records. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Using 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 filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should deter you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be a very secure way to file your taxes,” says Scott Grissom, vice president of product leadership, advertising and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, 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, explains that the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your information safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It is important to employ a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or use an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment options. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.