Is e-filing a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS may not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you can find any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about security? And can electronic filing actually give you access to all the forms you may need if you have a intricate tax situation? Are there 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 requirements.
If you’re Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within one day of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in 3 weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund process.
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 mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
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 necessary, as long as you pay from the April 15 filing deadline. And you’re able to schedule electronic funds 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 making use of 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 following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of taxation information: Submitting returns electronically means there is a digital copy of your tax records. So if something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The fantastic news: Most taxpayers do decide to e-file and find those advantages — and the process of doing this is easy.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers. In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you may be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that 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 direction, marketing 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 rather than exposing your data in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has put safety measures in place to keep your data safe. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need ab sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to use a trusted service to help you record your taxes. Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t confidential.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense 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 effortless payment options. Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so that you can make certain the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.