Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they’re mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
Nearly all individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
When you e-file your federal income tax return, you save the IRS cash because its employees don’t have to spend time manually processing your return. In return, you can find any refund you’re owed faster, particularly 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 might need in case you have a intricate 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 needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not 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 procedure.
Reduced chance of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of errors on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay afterwards if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. Additionally you have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Immediate pay service from your checking account or savings account, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.
Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital backup of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and get those benefits — and the process of doing this is easy.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected 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 be worried about security — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your private information through an encrypted system rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that require token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It’s very important to use a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to file your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just make sure that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you may make certain the information which you provide to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.