Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree on 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 submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
If you e-file your federal income tax return, you conserve the IRS money because its employees don’t need to spend time manually processing your return. And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.
But what about safety? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it may be the very best filing option for your requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will affirm 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 safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to cover at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if needed, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct 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 after the filing due date (typically April 15) will result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you will have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
The forms do the math for you and provide basic guidance. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it anticipated 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 this is not 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 sales at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your data 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 data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s very important to use a trustworthy service that will assist you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a computer or utilize an online connection that isn’t private.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a yield because it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make certain to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.