Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they’re mostly on the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.
And in return, you can find any refund you’re owed quicker, particularly in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms that you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there situations when you can’t e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and whether it might be the best filing option for your needs.
If you’re Considering e-filing, a Few of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms are received: 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 publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you are going to get your money in 3 weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: According to the IRS, there is around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s easier to pay at your convenience if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by 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, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. Additionally you have the option to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Direct pay service from the 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 documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
How to e-file a tax return?
You have four choices 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 all these forms.
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 in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is suitable, you may worry about security — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t a problem that should deter you from 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 direction, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal 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 the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It’s important to use a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or use an online connection that is not confidential.
For many taxpayers, it is sensible to e-file a return 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 be certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.