Is e-filing a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree on everything, but they are largely on the same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is a favorite as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you can get any refund you’re owed faster, especially if you have it directly deposited into your bank accounts.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing really give you access to all of the forms that you may need in case you have a complex tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us 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 confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission. For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it may take six to eight weeks to be given a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or not. Choosing direct deposit can also speed up the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: According to the IRS, there’s approximately a 1 percent error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more info on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper returns.
Simple payment procedure: If you owe the IRS money, it is easier to cover at your convenience when 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. You also have the option to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking 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) will lead to penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have a digital backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and get those benefits — and the practice of doing this is easy.
You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.
Using online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of the majority of taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it anticipated more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.
Is e-filing really stable?
While e-filing is convenient, you could worry about safety — especially with all these data breaches. But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should dissuade you by e-filing.
“In fact, it can be more secure than paper filing as you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted system as opposed to exposing your information 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 secure. “Vendors typically utilize IRS particular APIs that need token sessions,” Chow says. “All of this can be routed over TLS encrypted connections.”
It is important to use a trustworthy service that will help you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a public computer or use an online connection which isn’t confidential.
For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a yield 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 make certain that you use tax planning software from a trusted source, so you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.