Is e-filing really a much better way to record your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might 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 filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
In return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited to your bank accounts.
But what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let’s look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your requirements.
If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick affirmation your forms are obtained: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within 24 hours of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you publish 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 may also accelerate the refund process.
Reduced likelihood of errors: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on issues discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it’s simpler to cover at your advantage if you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. And you can schedule electronic money transfers to 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 using the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, submitting 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 lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax information: Submitting returns electronically implies there’s an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, then you will have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing so is simple.
The way to e-file a tax return?
You have four options for filing an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
The types do the math for you and provide standard guidance. You can only do your federal return with all these kinds.
Employing online tax prep software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated over four in five tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with all these 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 leadership, marketing and revenue at LegalShield. “In fact, it may be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, clarifies that the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your data secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted links .”
It is important to use a trusted service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or utilize an online connection that is not private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it is the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment choices. Just be certain that you use tax preparation software from a dependable source, so you can ensure the information you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept protected.